We gaze out at downtown Dallas from her balcony.
Fifteen floors up it's windy out here and all that worry
over my hair a waste of time. A girl I was friends with
for 16 years before leaving for NYC is hosting an
after-holiday party with her boyfriend of five years.
My guy is still grousing about being here with all
these "old" people. "Are we this old?" he asks. No,
now sit down and enjoy yourself. He wants to know
why we left so quickly from my other girlfriend's
townhouse. The house with 20-somethings and
substantial food about to be served. Free food.
I'm annoyed that he won't stop asking. "I hate
these hit-and-run social events. I'd like to get to
know some of your friends." We'll stay longer next
time "What's our time limit for this situation?
I'd like to be prepared." I tell him to get another drink.
It's fun seeing my friend again but can't recount the
crazy escapades in front of our current guys. Not
appropriate on so many levels. She was my friends
back in the the day. Those crazy electric early
days when we'd pretend to have important things
to do before showing up at the clubs at 10 PM.
A lot of wasted time pretending. Next year I
pledge to not waste any time.
I watch her interact with her new friends made
in my 16 year absence. I met her in a restaurant
in Dallas. Down the bar there was this beautiful girl
in a striking red suit and matching red hat. Any
woman who has the balls to wear a red hat with
confidence is someone I want to know. And so it
began. We dated two guys that were best friends,
suffered with each other through break ups and
heart breaks. I think about one particularly painful
breakup. I sat on my sofa for weeks and don't
remember how the bills got paid. How I was so
numb from despair that I was unable to talk.
How I knew I would never kill myself but did have
crying jags on the phone with therapists. And
anyone that would listen. So much wasted time.
It's fun talking to her new friends. And one old one.
She starts to tell me when the last time was we
saw each other. The Fairmont Hotel on New Year's
Eve I say. Surprised, she agrees. Then recalls we
then went to the 8.0 Bar after. That I don't
remember. Truth be told I recently looked at photos
from that New Years Eve at the Fairmont Hotel
twenty years ago. I remember thinking why
didn't I wear more make up and what was going
through my head when I pulled my hair back like that.
One of her friends and her husband are taking
9 months off and leasing a home in Aspen so their
13 year old daughter can learn to ski. Must be nice
I comment. She says it costs about the same to do
that as it does to put her daughter through one
year of private school. I can't imagine this idea
hatching from the brains of my parents. But then
my father was an engineer and I doubt her husband is.