You know that thing where, completely by accident,
you run into an old friend you haven't seen for seven years
at a place neither of you would expect because
how the hell would they know Terry and Rich?,
they moved away SEVEN years ago—
at least two before Terry and Rich even got to L.A.,
much less met each other,
and you're both so excited you shriek
and hug each other
and maybe even cry a little
and then, embarrassed,
motion to your respective, politely bored companions that
you haven't seen this person for SEVEN YEARS
and exclaim over how great it is to see them (because really, it is)
and how each of you looks exactly like you did fifteen years ago (because, well—ballpark)
and then, before you realize what you have unleashed,
you ask them what they've been up to
and they catch their breath and say, "Omigod...!" because of the enormity of it,
but then, in a steady stream, release things like "MFA"
and "...Seattle, for Greg's residency"
and the names of two things you're pretty sure are children
and one you really hope is an animal
but honestly, you're having trouble concentrating
because you already know what comes next.
And when it does, as it always does,
you think about the various men who have come and gone
and the one husband who was gone but came back as a friend
and the several careers you've tried on
like costumes sewn for someone else—beautiful,
but tight around the shoulders—
and even the one time you wound up in the emergency room
and thought you saw Jesus but it was only dehydration and a trick of the light
And you consider telling them all of this
but you are bored of it already
and why get into what's really going on,
or even the simple, crazy story of how it was all set in motion
on that early Thursday evening when you walked out of a Ross Dress for Less
and the sun hit the palm trees in a particular way
and how, for one nanosecond, maybe two,
you finally knew that someday, you could feel all right
even if you didn't know how just yet.
No one talks about the long climb
back to okay
at a cocktail party,
even one with dear, old friends.
So instead, you say, nothing! nothing at all!
and you both laugh
and ask how the other knows Terry and Rich
and you all friend each other on Facebook—
right there, on your phones, like the Jetsons!—
and promise to meet for coffee
which you just might do in another 40 years
when the witnesses are gone.