[Letting go]

Letting Go

diamond rings and old bar stools
one’s for queens and one’s for fools
one’s the future and one’s the past
one’s forever and one won’t last

-“diamond rings and old bar stools”, performed by tim mcgraw, written by jonathan singleton, barry dean and luke laird

“I fell in love with you.”

I say this as we’re walking down Woodland at Five Points. We’ve already crossed the traffic light. The restaurants are on our left.

“What is love,” he says.

“Seriously, Mitch. I fell in love with you.”

I don’t say it apologetically. I don’t bookcase it with, “No big deal”, or some sort of joke like I always do. I’m sick right now and don’t really have the energy to do anything else with my vocal chords other than spit out words without much inflection.

“What is love,” he repeats himself steadily.

“I don’t know,” I say truthfully. Because I don’t know what the correct definition is.

I recently saw a movie where a character is asked how he knows he’s in love with a girl.

“Because nothing feels right without her.”

For me and my situation, this doesn’t fit.

“All I know,” I take a breath, trying to think. We pass the restaurant without the glass in the windows. “You were the first person I loved hanging out with naked as much as I loved hanging out with as a friend. You were my friend.”

I continue on.

“I mean, we used to climb rooftops together downtown. And go swimming half-naked at Barton Springs—in a non-sexual way. Do remember that old lady that kept asking me to do my handstands off the diving board when I was in a thong?”

His frame doubles forward. “Hahaha. Yeah.”

“I mean for God’s sake, I helped you push your van down the frontage road of I-35.”

He smiles and nods.

“You were my friend,” I say in a voice filled with not much of a fight. “I lost a friend.”

He doesn’t object. We’re back in the Dollar General parking lot and I’m fishing for my keys.

“I hope I have them.”

He’s on my driver’s side, waiting. My purse weighs a ton and I sit it on top of my hood as I pull things out of it.

“Seriously. I had them.”

He walks behind the car and towards the driver’s side.

“Okay, if I…”

He throws his arms around my shoulder blades and we stand there in the Dollar General parking lot in East Nashville. The backs of our heads touch and neither of us say anything. He squeezes his arms as tight as he can. I squeeze back.

And the hurt from four years before seeps out of my pores and into the night.

“What a great moon,” his Colorado voice had remarked earlier.

I looked up as we walked back from the ice cream store with the funny name. It was a sliver of a thumbnail—not much of one and not my kind of moon.

But it was still up in the sky, and still doing it’s very best to make the night as lovely as it could be.

It needn’t have tried so hard.

For a fleeting moment. I had my friend back.

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