Other women

“Miranda wants me to date other women,” Joe said.

“Really? That’s a switch.”

“She says I should go wild, experiment, have fun.”

Years ago, in another lifetime, it seemed, she had broken up with him because he couldn’t make up his mind between her and a girl named Summer.

“OK, and you’re unhappy … why?”

We were in Joe’s favorite bar, an old brick building that used to be something else. There was a guy playing guitar and singing in one corner, and he was pretty good but nobody paid any attention. Joe just looked at me.

“You could be the only man on the planet who doesn’t want to be told he should go wild.”

Joe laughed, finished his beer and ordered another.

“You could be right,” he said.

Joe was newly divorced. Miranda and her husband had split up six years earlier.

“I think she just wants you to take time to discover what makes you happy.”

“She makes me happy.”

“Aside from her, though.”

“I suppose,” Joe said.

I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps Miranda had gone wild in the years since her divorce; Joe was probably thinking the same thing. It didn’t seem to matter, though. She was all he wanted now.

“Maybe she feels like too much of your happiness depends on her right now.”

Joe stared into his beer. I rested a hand on my friend’s shoulder.

“Give her time, man. Give yourself time.”