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  • The week after she moved away (grad school across the country), college friends descended upon Middlebury. A wedding. One of our housemates.

    Into my one bedroom apartment we fit ten people. Six were couples, which helped. I shared my bed with a friend. I warned him that I was a heat seeker in bed.

    He yelled “No butts touching,” after we had turned out the lights. I had my hand smacked away when I tried to spoon him in my sleep.

    Our friend got married to a woman in the class below us. He laughed and cried while reading his vows. They fell in love here when I was in Paris. While there, we would talk about how great it felt. I left out a lot. He didn’t have to.

    The wedding, then a break: naps, swimming, shopping for party snacks. We reconvene at the tent set up on the edge of campus. A Middlebury wedding at Middlebury College. A common occurrence.

    A funk band plays. Some of us dance. Some of us try to get others to dance. Others occasionally join in. It’s a warm August night. I want to be drunker than I am.

    Here, I nurse a beer that I’d rather be drinking quickly. But here, an unwelcome first – heartburn, something I knew only from commercials with pink liquids or purple pills. But here it is, inside me. Smoldering, moving in the wrong direction.

    I think I call my lover and tell her I wish that she were here. I tell her my chest burns. There is concern.

    My friends leave the next afternoon, after a Sunday brunch on a lake. I buy antacids. I swallow one. The bathroom mirror: I see someone aging. I see someone alone.

    (photo credit: A. Joseph)
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