romeo, i never lose

all it took was one sentence, in the middle of a crowded retail store, my hair in careless disarray, ten years after i'd last seen you - and my core temperature rose like a burst of flame as my face turned the color of my tomato red jacket.

i confess i am hopeless when it comes to surprises, even welcome ones, and as comforting as your brown eyes were, i felt like i'd spoken too fast, too much, too superficially. left too quickly.

but it's difficult, i've found, to look down the pipe at your life a decade ago and not stare at those details. the radio station in your car, the smell of your cologne. the red dress i wore to the party you invited me to, and your hand on the small of my back as you walked me inside. the way we had two relationships: the one everybody else saw talk and walk the halls, and the one in which you picked me up late at night and we drove around with no destination, looking desperately for some way for our lives to overlap.

the world saw us, once. a classmate spotted us walking together and in her face it was plain that we did not exist in the same frame of reference. it was like godzilla showing up in pride & prejudice, a box of colored 3d chalk in a 1940's black & white film.

and so when i recognized your face, i talked about everything else. your wife, your daughter, my son, the football game, the cold weather, the holidays. anything but what i really meant to see and say.

but ten years will render the familiarity dusty and forgotten, my old friend.

<< 12.01.10, 2:06 p.m. >>