I was on business in Montreal and having dinner by myself. Sitting nearby were two men having a very earnest and humourless conversation about building a shed. For fun I imagined their subject was actually sex. This was pretty funny for me especially after I finished a martini.
I looked out the window for a while at the falling snow and a road work crew. I thought about how it would be to share this time with you. Honestly, though, it would probably be pretty awful, at least judging by the way you turned your head away the last time I told you I loved you.
I decided to text Clara. I’ve talked about her before. A few years ago when I was in Madrid she re-connected with me and we spent the weekend evenings catching up and talking about the photos I had taken during the day. We spent a summer together when we were only 14, going to concerts, walking around the lake and sitting on her front step, kissing mostly.
I caught her at a good time, she was having a glass of wine and packing for a trip to San Francisco the next day. I sent her photos as my orders came and I asked the waiter if I could take his picture, which she thought was pretty funny.
I asked her if she would keep me company on the walk back to my hotel. She said she would love to but not to expect her to come up to my room; even after I mentioned that there were some pretty awesome chocolates up there.
Along the way I sent her photos of paintings in art gallery windows and of dresses and shoes in shop windows. I knew she was a shoe freak and there was a pair of blue over the ankle shoes with a 2″ blocky sort of heel and short kind of laces on the sides that she loved.
She did come up to my hotel room after all and we chatted about her recent break up with her husband of over 30 years and her daughter and her work and the first date we went on and our first kiss and our last kiss. I think she cried a bit.
We had been very close all those years ago, sharing our 14 year-old secrets and feeling love, desire and deep connection for the first time in our young lives. It felt like we picked up where we left off; able to be ourselves with each other, which is a pretty rare thing, in my life anyway.
I wished it was you.