This is How I Meet You

In the far corner of the bar, sitting alone. On the train, reading a Patti Smith memoir. At my best friend’s house party. At the museum, where I’m on a date with someone else. These are all ways I meet you, and all ways it never works out.

At first, we think the fates brought us together. Whatever that means. But you don’t like cats. And I don’t like when people forget to replace the toilet paper. We can’t seem to compromise. It doesn’t matter how I met you, because this is how I lose you.

We don’t have similar interests, but we have a mutual fascination with each other. Our conversations are stimulating for the first three months. As the boredom mounts, I wander. You were perfectly lovely, but this is how I leave you for someone else.

You were my best friend’s boyfriend. We weren’t supposed to meet like that. We didn’t need to want each other, we just couldn’t not. This is how I lose her. This is how I hate myself. This is how I wonder why we met.

We were coworkers. That never ends well. I wanted too much of you, but instead you took too much of me. I lost myself somewhere between your depression and my insecurity in losing you. This is how you dumped me, and, eventually, found yourself.

I met you all differently, but it was essentially the same. I was meant to meet you, but not the way we did. Not at work, not at a party, not on the train. I was supposed to meet you at different times, in different lives — we never stood a chance in this one. The only problem is, I never know when or how I’m supposed to meet you.

Then, one day, out of the blue, I met you, in the way I knew I should. Completely unexpected, entirely on purpose. I’d imagined you into my life without realization. And something clicked. This, is how I was supposed to meet you. Funny, isn’t it? So, now, I’ll always be able to say, with confidence, “This is how I met you,” even if I love you, lose you, leave you, and wonder if I’ll ever meet you again.