03/05/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

When Your Ex Sends the Vacation Video After the Break-Up

It activates memories, TIVO-style: Rewind, pause, fast forward, STOP...

After 5 years, we agreed not so much to break up but to stop trying to get back together. It was mutual. But the pictures hurt. Not because of what could be, but what once was:

• Meeting in London while I was filming The Sex Inspectors

• He came up, smiled, and claimed me like lost baggage.

• We went home. I thought he was a great notch in my bedpost.

• He thought otherwise.

• I dated other people. He didn't want to.

• On a snowy London eve, I told him I had an expiration date stamped on my forehead (I was leaving-didn't know if the show would be renewed). Why was he so intense about a summer fling?

• Tears streaked down his face.

• I reached to comfort him. He slapped my arm away.

• He spent the night.

• My admiration grew.

• We spent more and more time.

• Until it was time to fly back.

• He watched from the platform as I boarded the Gatwick Express.

• We might never see each other again.

• Tears. In whose eyes, I couldn't tell.

• The train moved.

• I panicked.

• Picked up a book. Scribbled. Held it to the glass.

• He was as surprised reading it as I was in writing it.

• The show was renewed.

• Came back to London, we lived together.

• I loved him. What he brought out in me, what I got out of him.

• Six months later, time to go back to the U.S. again. Plans for a life together.

• On the phone when he found out his visa application got rejected: An angry haunting wail -- like falling out of a building and never hitting ground. No one had ever cried for me like that.

• I never hated this country as much as I did then.

• He eventually got a tourist visa, then a J-1.

• We lived together for over a year, but the visa was ending. The only way to stay together was to marry. But we couldn't.

• Something about two men.

• We were separated by the U.S. government.

• We tried. For years.

• The distance, the government, our own personal failings.

• We never seemed to break up so why were we always trying to get back?

• On our last vacation, we took pictures knowing it'd probably be the last time we'd be together as a couple.

• Six months later he came through Atlanta for a night, on his way back to London. He had a new boyfriend.

• It stung.

• It helped.

• Next day, I drove him to the airport.

• Do you love him?

• Not sure. Too early.

• Why did you come to Atlanta? Not sure, too early.

• I held his hand. It wasn't the hand that loved me but it was the hand that once did. And for that I gripped it tight.

Click here for a collection of pictures from the video.