I wasn’t going to go. I’d walked past the house and looked in thinking no, too much work. Starting home I noticed him on the other side of the street. I turned and followed. He entered and so did I, with intention.
Guests were gathering. The dining room, which held drinks, was dense. I waited to be introduced, faced him squarely and watched his face light. Good, I thought, I delight him. We shook hands sweetly. Turning away I mused, well… this is a man I could like, wholly.
We had opportunity for a brief exchange. Discussing a book lent to him by our host, his board service, a neighbors costume. In that crowded space, standing close, I savored what it felt like to be next to him, to sense a charged intimacy. He asked for my coordinates. Business, of course.
As we spoke, a former lover passed by and kissed me on the cheek, his estranged wife in tow. That’s how it goes this far down the path. It’s complicated and cumbersome; a lifetime trails behind you, alongside you, suitcases of accumulated experience, of relationships, of posturing and preconceptions, shadowing the new thing. The new thing cannot simply be new.
It’s been months now. We unfold, companions, constant.
Today he is sixty five. Our same year birthdays bracket a summer.
Why has he arrived in my life? What are we to each other?