May 7, 2018 (or somewhere thereabouts)
The pieces resemble leaves of a windy fall afternoon. The pile looks right, the mouth of the bag waiting, but when scooped they scatter, pushed to the neighbor’s lawn, the gutter, the air.
I keep wanting to target 2002 even though that’s not right. Maybe it’s because that’s when we met; maybe it’s because Dad died that year. His time ended on the cold floor of a hospital room, a bruise on the brain his ultimate undoing after the conclusion of a weeks-long bender brought him to the one place he wasn’t supposed to go: home.
Now I fear, among many other things, that I have seen myself take my first step into becoming George Webber.
Regardless…we didn’t get together until the following spring, and everything, like the arrival of a new season, seemed so exciting. Our families bubbled, observed. Our introductions to friends teemed with glee.
We lived a party life that spring and summer of 2003, some combination of envy, happiness, and annoyance in the eyes and minds of our co-workers. We logged significant poolside time, shared beds, and closed down bars. By fall we were never apart, having tucked-in conversations about our lives ahead. And the following February I moved out of my buddy’s house and into my own place, a joint she helped me find, a pad her father came with us to inspect. I’d received an acceptance letter from my graduate school of choice; hers had come in the form of rejection.