Tonight I saw a girl, or maybe she’s a woman now. We weren’t friends before, I had made my intentions clear that I was attracted to her some years before and they weren’t reciprocated and I didn’t know how to deal with the rejection so there was always a bit of tension between us, at least I thought there was. We were in this diner after the bars closed and I saw her and we made eye contact but we both look different now so we could have played it off as any other incidental shared glance between strangers, but I said her name and she came over to me and put her hand on my back when she asked how I was doing.
It wasn’t anything sexual, I had since shed the physical infatuation. Still it was nice to be touched. She was home from Denver for a few days and a bit drunk so when we talked she was close to me and our shoulders and knees jostled together beneath the dirty table. It has been months since I have been touched by anyone, and sometimes I forget how it is, like a warm baptism. We agreed that we were getting old and, despite that, still didn’t feel out actual age.
“I’m either 7 or 47” she said and we laughed because it was true. She’s got bangs now and I noticed the freckles on top of her cheeks more than I remembered them to be. “I feel like I’m just doing things until I die” I said. “I feel like we’re born and then we’re tossed into a series of events that don’t really have any cosmic importance and then we die and in 15 years we’re just a picture that’s been packed away because our kids won’t through it away but the new condo they moved into doesn’t have space” and again we laughed because it was true.
“Maybe you’re right, Blake” she said “but I’m happy, I think” and then she rubbed my back again and got up and walked away and watching her leave, I felt a little bit of hope fill the empty room in the seat beside me.