I’m at Philip Marie, sitting outside, nerding out beside Shawn (aka, Smelly’s slap boyfriend), and I’m drunk. I just mooched dinner off them, a wedge of mac and cheese, their "side dish," a pour and a half of their bottle of sancerre. I didn’t know I was mooching until Smelly stole away to the ladies room to somehow pay the check. When she returns, couples walk by us as we drink our veens, as I question the couple before me, "what would you do, if you just witnessed someone you knew was in a relationship holding hands with someone else?" They each answered, "it depends."
"Don’t crap out on me. Give me a real answer."
"Do you have something to tell me?" Shawn joked in Smelly’s direction.
Then they changed the subject and spoke of the Bugaboo (the frogger) stroller. They don’t know why they know about strollers, but they do, in great detail. I want to know about strollers, too. I know they’d never cheat on one another. I know they’re lucky. I hate that I associate luck with faithfulness.
I then recalled a man whom once I’d split from the last MID, offered up a sensitive, "you must have known he was cheating. Everyone knew." I hated him. But it’s Sunday now, and it’s still light out, too early for hate. My God, I think, is it really Sunday? I no longer have any sense for the days of the week now that I’m without a full-time meeting-of-a-life job. Since I seldom watch television, I’ve really no idea what day of the week it is, save for monitoring my birth control pack. Ah ha, a new row. It must be Sunday after all, and on a Sunday, I can’t go there, to the place where I admit I’m hormonal. Yes, my breasts ACHE like you read about on pamphlets titled, Side-Effects. Well they do! My bras, lately, are quadraboobing me. Everything hurts and seems bigger. Normally, I’d panic, but it’s Sunday, and I’m drunk, so who the hell cares? So I cry at commercials lately. Big deal. Been there. Cried at that.
On this Sunday eve, I’m drinking a crisp white with close friends who would tell me, even the stuff I’d never want to hear, the stuff that comes with blame. And on this particular Sunday, I’m missing Philip, my Philip. We left one another after brunch. He was off to "run errands" and do something having to do with football. I interpreted "run errands" as having something to do with my upcoming birthday. I know I’ll see him later, even though we left without a plan. In my past life, I’d have contracted some anxiety without having a plan to see one another later. In the departing kiss, I’d have held on too long, waiting to hear when we’d see one another next. I’d want a guarantee.
Today, I wrote in a cafe across from NYU’s business school. I was dipping back into chapter six, a chapter about a wedding. And while I wrote it, I thought of Philip, and how right things feel with him. How I don’t need a guarantee spoken in words with him, how I know everything will be okay between us. Then I met my friends, Amy, Smelly, and Shawn for the veens and the nerding out with our laptops roadside. And all the while, there was an undercurrent of going home, to Philip. Leaving Philip Marie and heading toward the Philip who matters to tell him stories about the other people in my life who matter.