I am sitting at the bar by myself, waiting for the DJ to start the music. I’ve got to have a break before I hear another person tell me that I haven’t changed a bit. And I need a drink before I hear (again!) my ecstatic: “Neither have you!”
Just let the music begin.
Jeff comes over and sits down next to me. He starts to talk. I remember him immediately. We never had a class together, but our parents were friends.
He talks and talks and talks. Just as I remember him. It’s a torrent of whatever is running through his mind, I guess.
I try to pay attention, but it’s a struggle: his intonation doesn’t change much. I ask a question from time to time to register participation.
I catch his eye, just for a second:
I haven’t seen you in 30 years, I say.
Jeff says, “I remember John Cunningham from school. John Cunningham went to school with me. But I haven’t seen him…”
There’s more about John Cunningham, but I’m checking out fast.
I try this: It’s nice to see everybody after so many years, isn’t it?
“I remember John Cunningham. He was in school with me…”
I start to plan my escape.
I throw this out, partly as a good exit line: You know what, Jeff, when the music begins, we should dance.
Then the world stopped. John Cunningham vanished. Jeff looks at me.
He looks at me:
“I would like to dance with you.”
And I look at him. And I believe him.