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.