Lost In The Shuffle

New York City — Spring 2004

For Caroline

We could both barely hide our disappointment upon seeing one another for the first time. You had never seen me before but I had seen you, although there was just a minor discrepancy. You were at least fifteen years older than you were in your photograph. Though both disappointed, we made the best of it and took in Central Park, a day at the Met, and lunch in Chinatown.

Over coffee, I couldn’t help notice how deeply disappointed you were. You wanted to me to be what you imagined me to be and I, to be fair, did the same. Instead of focusing on the fact that we were actually enjoying one another’s company, grateful that there was a potential new friend in one another’s lives, the conversation kept veering off toward talk of other men you had been talking to. I didn’t mind but I did find it amusing and I took the hint.

It’s funny how lonely people interact with one another. What’s truly important gets lost in the shuffle, between subtle hints and signals. Meanwhile each slips back into the realm of fantasy, coddling their disappointment, until the next one.