Talked to Josh last night. The conversation began as text messages in the afternoon. Here’s how it went…
“How’s your day so far?” I send.
“It’s good & how’s yours, sweet girl?” He sends back.
Josh and I haven’t seen each other since I was twenty-one, so he really does still picture me as a girl.
“I need a nap!”
“Can I take one with you? ☺” Is what he sends back.
“I knew you’d say that.” I text.
“Kissed any boys lately?”
“Nope. Kissed any girls?”
“Yes. I kissed (that woman he just broke up with).”
Well, I didn’t know you’d say that.
Yeah, so we end up talking later that night. No, they’re not back together. It’s just funny to me that this is how we operate. We like each other, but we can’t be friends the way we can be now if we get together, and up until now neither of us has been willing to give up the possibility of the future. I know, though, and I think he does, too, that future’s never going to come to pass. And, I’m fine with that.
I like things the way they are. I like being able to flirt with him and talk with him about anything and know that he’s not going anywhere. He won’t judge me. And he’ll always be on my side. Still, it would be nice to find what he and I have with someone I can actually share a life with. But, if I never find that with anyone, I know I’ll be happy anyway. I mean, what’s the alternative? Besides, if you go from person-to-person trying to find the relationship you think you should have, you might miss out on something even better. You shouldn’t expect love to look a certain way. It almost never does.
Somehow, I end up losing count of how many Coors Lights I’ve drunk, and, at about 9:30, Lily calls. I meander over to her place, and after she scolds me for drinking cheap beer, she feeds me cheese and vodka sauce on toast and Oriental-flavored Top Ramen. (When did Oriental become a flavor?) Even in my slightly inebriated state, I make her show me the package to ensure that absolutely no animals were harmed in order for me to partake of the noodles and the broth.
She’s going to visit a man she met at a wedding in Vermont. He calls her “Hoochie Mama,” and she’s not sure how to take it. I laugh when she shows me the note he’s attached to the flight itinerary he’s sent her. He’s drawn a huge smiley face on a post it. I look at the itinerary and tell her, “Well, at least he’s not a crazed serial killer. He’s already bought your ticket home.”
She says to me, “Paige, I guess the people I know must be really nice, because it never occurred to me he wouldn’t buy my ticket home.” And this makes me laugh, too.
The baseball game is on mute, so she can play me some kooky Indian throat singer music. She’s going through her cd’s, and I’m lying down. From my vantage point I’m looking at her bookshelves and at the things that reside there. She has all these signed copies of Tom Robbins books on the top shelf. She has orchids and books on plants and science and poetry. She has a statue of little pig that used to belong to her daughter’s great-grandmother. She has a ceramic hamburger that her daughter made when she was an adolescent. There’s a small cast-iron white elephant on wheels that I secretly covet, and that she found at an architecture salvage store in Sarasota. She has a belly dancer’s belt with little brass coins resting next to a board game. She has a whole world on her bookshelves, a whole life.
And this is what I’m thinking about as I slip off to sleep on her red-velvet divan.