Goodbye Again

I continue to be surprised at how infrequently I run into people I know in Vegas. It practically never happens.

I am also always surprised at how frequently I do run into people I know in airports. As a matter of fact, I've run into at least one person I know every time I've been in an airport for the last two years. Every time. Doesn't matter what airport.

My streak continued perfect last week when I went to pick up my friend, Marie. I wasn't even going to go in, but I was early and circling the airport for a half hour seemed dumb. I parked and wandered into baggage claim.

After locating the carousel where her bags were allegedly to arrive, I sat down and sent Marie a text telling her that I had come in and then proceeded to peruse my email. As I read through a bunch of really boring mail, I became interested in a conversation that was happening in front of me. A mother and daughter were having a disagreement and at its climax I stopped pretending to read and looked up at them. I didn't just sit there gawking or anything, but I took a good look before pretending to look for Marie, who, according to my app, hadn't landed yet. As I looked around, quietly entertaining myself with people-watching, I heard my name.

"Hey, Dot."

I heard the voice, the familiar use of my name on his tongue. It was surprisingly sweet.

I stood up and hugged him. It was easy - so usual, in fact that it wasn't until I started to ask how he'd been that I remembered the circumstances of our lives.

I asked him, five years ago, to not contact me anymore. I explained that I didn't think it was good for him if we continued to communicate. He seemed to always hope I would change my mind and we'd get back together.

I only fully processed the whole situation when the words, "How have you been," we're out of my mouth.

He smiled and said, "I still miss you," but not in a sad or creepy way.

"I still miss you, too," I said.

"You look well - as always."

"Thanks. You, too. You've lost some weight."

"Yeah. I've been doing a lot of kayaking. And I finally learned to surf."

I always wanted him to surf with me.

" Well, it agrees with you. What brings you to Vegas?"

"Nick's (his cousin) bachelor party."

Just then I saw Marie walking through the crowd towards me. I waved.

"Well, have fun. Give my best to Nick."

"I will. Goodbye again, Dot. It was excellent seeing you."

He hugged me and disappeared into the crowd.




There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
-Ernest Hemingway