Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We Were Five Feet Away

He was in the first class of Intro to Screenwriting I taught
two years ago.
The shy guy who sat at the back table--
his grammar was trash, but his characters were great.
He was always so nice to me,
and I don't know why.
His name starts with a G and he also looks like a giraffe.
But I saw him today on the library lawn, and when I did my usual
smile-no-stop he did. And wanted to hear about my summer.
This kid looks the same to me, but he's been through
50% of college since I met him. And for no real reason
we intersected in the same five foot radius
on this August afternoon.
This is my third year here.
Two years ago I had no idea what was in store.
I made big fat guesses and launched without a landing pad.
I was breaths away from going to Japan instead of grad school.
Every move was life and death. Join the improv team?
Live on the corner by the Mexican grocery.
Go to the MFA parties, don't.
Snub the kisses, don't.
Accept the invite. Decline the date. Forget to eat.
Two years ago I was at a bar playing on the MFA trivia team.
We were in second place.
In a fit of "I'm a stranger in a new city who even cares!"
when the first place team was announced
I yelled an abrasive, "WHAT?" at them
because they were two dudes. And we were a table
of, like, fifteen in-pursuit of higher ed peoples.
The guys shrugged. They won. I never saw them again.
It took me a full year to figure it out.
Sort of a..."Now wait a minute, we go to that bar,"
and some, "Now, WAIT, a minute, you were there that night?"
But I ended up knowing those two strangers.
The one on the left, the one five feet from me,
is now my boyfriend.

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