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The Birthday Dance - Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
Friday, Mar. 08, 2019 @ 12:28 pm
I meet Timathy before work for coffee.
How different this is now. Before, when we were in a relationship, he slept in late. Rehearsed with his band deep into the night. Our circadian rhythms were disjointed, and this led to struggle and exhaustion.
We meet in the bottom of a tall business tower. The coffee line is long with office workers in suits and slacks. I order my coffee, and as I'm walking to the pickup counter, I see him from the corner of my eye.
He's a plumber. He is wearing dirty Carhartts and layers of thermal shirts. His hands are large and strong. His circumference has expanded but his carriage has improved. He appears confident, but as he nears I can see him biting the corner of his lip, and he pulls on his beard. I know him too well for him to hide his nervousness.
We greet with a hug, and I wonder what we look like. The tradespeople and the office workers live parallel lives in these parts, rarely crossing into each other's worlds.
We talk for an hour. It's nice. It's comforting. In the time since we dated, he married, had a child, divorced, and developed a career. He no longer plays in a band. He has mellowed out, and his approach to life is thoughtful. He has abundant empathy; I didn't understand that about him when we were together.
Business people move around us in swirls. My coffee cools. Buses rumble past. The winter light is grey and delicate.
I am speaking and mid-sentence he reaches over and takes hold of my left thumb. Turns it over.
"I love your unique thumbs," he muses quietly. I lose my train of thought. I think about the song that he wrote about us, about me.
Eventually, I tell him that I have to go. He takes my empty cup and puts it in the recycling bin, along with his own. He turns to me.
We hug. He wraps me up tightly and the hug is noticeably long. I sink into it, physically and emotionally.
I walk off towards Yaletown. He jaywalks across six lanes of traffic.
I glance back.
He glances back.