A kiss on the cheek from my now ex-best friend.
A kiss on the lips from my now ex-lover.
A kiss in the air from an innocent bystander.
A kiss on my fingertips as I wave them goodbye.
Friends who were friends of friends are no longer friends – for new friendship’s sake, old friendships end. And I do not understand where in the diagram I stand.
He had always seemed too good to be true, my old friend. But then we fell out, over a woman perhaps, or differing interpretations of friendship, or perhaps through growing older. So I had not seen him for ten, maybe fifteen years, when he walked right by me. I only understood it was him when we had passed; a flicker at the corner of his eye caught mine. Perhaps – again, I’m unsure – the tremor was a sign that he had seen me.
I walked on a few steps; I slowed; I stopped. Would I turn and see him close behind me, smiling or frowning or looking puzzled, or would he have disappeared amongst the crowds? Or would I turn at all? Perhaps it was not him I could convince myself. I turned. He stood there, older, softer, his eyes the same.
So we went for a coffee and a promise to catch up and I’m sorry, no I am, and him and then me and then him and then we both looked at the time again and I thought of having to run to catch up and the years we had spent without talking.
And there was an uncomfortable shuffle and a handshake became an embrace and our gripped hands were caught tight like a fist between our chests, knuckles grinding ribs, and he looked at me and I looked back and I saw that he knew and I tried to show that I did too and then we separated and turned away and everything that had to happen happened.
My shadow is my closest friend;
she understands me.
In the darkness of the darkest night
I light a candle to see her close again.