i saw you

I SAW YOU the other day, in the shop, buying cognac or vodka or something with astronomically high alcohol content at about ten minutes to closing time. I saw you there in your scarf but you didn’t see me. I didn’t want you to see me, because I wanted to let you be over there, in that new, more manageable universe you have created around yourself, the one where I no longer exist. I’m not actually sure if it was the same you I saw though. Maybe you no longer exist either, or at least the way I once knew you. Maybe that’s over. I remember how just a few years ago we were drinking wine together in your rented room overlooking the street and had some young friends over. We got down and kneeled beside each other and were praying and laughing. What was so funny? I can’t even remember what the joke was. I remember the candles though, and the taste of the wine. That’s one memory I have. It’s just a memory and maybe there is no point in writing about it or talking about it. “Sometimes,” you told me tersely toward the end, “people just go their separate ways.” I did try to forget about you. In fact, I had almost erased you. You were nearly deleted, and when I went in there that night, my spirits were high and my soul was swinging. I wasn’t even upset by seeing you in the back there, with him. You mostly looked the same, or at least your eyes had the same visible vibrance. You always did have beautiful eyes. I will at least acknowledge that. I went to the other side and stood over there so you wouldn’t have to deal with the trouble of seeing me. I waited for a while and read a special magazine about the German occupation. When I looked back, you were gone.

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