next to last time
August 18, 1996 03:29 PM

The next to last time I saw him, I was wearing a t-shirt with a giant yin-yang on the front and was dressed anachronistically in the sort of skirt-and-combat-boots ensemble I'd worn in high school. I forgot my sweater. It was too cool; I was cold.

I don't know why I remember what I was wearing; sometimes I can hardly recall on Friday what I wore to work on Monday, I accidentally repeat work wear.

We were both so happy and well-adjusted. In love [not with each other] in that diffident maybe it's love maybe it's not way that youth has. We were so young. He had told me before in the cliched metaphors of songs that love would come to me. Sometimes songs were our words, our unexpected harmonies. He found most of those and brought them to us, offering the foundations.


There were others there, people who weren't exactly friends and not enough to understand that I needed to hold his hand when they sang one is gold, one is gold. That this wasn't strange, just the natural course of things.

And we didn't talk. We had never really been about the conversation, not with the solid reality of contact. Strange for me. I was always about conversation. I converse now like this with relative strangers. But not with him. Not, most of the time, with any of them.

That night. We didn't talk but we did. The implication that everything he'd said before was true. Not the optimism, but the moments of cynicism and tear-drying. Talk of us all and never lasting. I had always said if we held one tight enough, and I don't know whether I believed it then or not.

We were so young. But still, not so.

And that night we sang, exchanged phone numbers and sat on a blanket not talking but listening.

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