There’s no one to ask about anymore


We sat too close on the couch. Sure, four of us were pressed together like sacks of flour, so maybe we sat too close from circumstance rather than chemical attraction. But as our thighs touched while we all love/hate-watched Coyote Ugly over bourbon, my mind did that thing minds do: it future-tripped with possibilities. Maybe he was the one and I hadn’t paid him enough mind (or any mind, really) at the wedding we both attended. 

He was funny, charming, smart, and a little rough around the edges. The bride and groom laughed so hard during his best man speech that they had clutched their champagne-filled bellies with glee. He was tall, had a good sense of rhythm, and made good dinner conversation. Plus, he was the good friend of the husband of a good friend of mine. 

Someone shifted, our knees pulled away from each other, and I came down from the future-trip as fast as I’d gone into it, taking a sip of my drink and wondering if it was too late in life for me to dress as a Coyote Ugly bartender for Halloween.

I asked after him when I talked to my friend sometimes, the way you do when you’ve shared a nice meal and you care about someone enough to recall a good time. 

“He’s fine,” she’d say, and update me on his love life, his learning life, his living life, before we moved on to something, someone else, somewhere else.

I wonder how long it will take me to remember to stop asking.

**

Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash