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I miss having friends.
Shared skies,
lifelines that intertwine,
conversations that walk me home.
But the people who know my
simplest joys and darkest fears
are a continent and an ocean away;
they are asleep when I am lonely
and living their lives while I sleep.
I wouldn’t mind getting out there
and making new connections
but this isn’t the season;
the air is a wall of ice
and people are frozen inside
and I can’t drive
and the city buses don’t go where I live
and the hours have been cut
at the ends with scissors
and taped together to overlap
that I can hardly read
the writing on the the to-do list
and really, who has the time
to bare their soul
when the pot roast is in the oven
and the timer is set,
when the clothes out of the dryer
have to be ironed and folded
to fit in drawers where
I have stashed my passport
and all the things I used to be
before I gave them up
to be here?

But please, if you knew me
from way back then,
and you go out together to sit
under the clear night sky
to dine on ocean feasts
cooked outdoors
and rant about work
or plan your next frolic on the beach
or quote from the last
John Lloyd and Bea movie
or discuss the RH Bill
or the atrocities of the Marcos Regime,
think about what I might say
if I were there
and say it,
imagine what I might feel
caught in the fabric
of that scene
and feel it,
be lost as I would
in the tangle of stories and voices
against a backdrop of OPM
and jeepney horns

tear for me a small corner of that page
leave all your fingerprints
and mail it to me, with words about
how the evening got a little warmer,
tinged with what thoughts
you could pull from that drawer
of memories about your old friend

and I would be so grateful
to have been almost there
and not forgotten
until the time
we see each other again.

“Dinner with Friends” by photographer Ole G. Eidsheim


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