My Birthday, 1999

It was supposed to be a good night. They’d all gotten together and gotten me tickets to Les Mis for my birthday.

It was merely coincidence that she and her family went to Les Mis on the night that my friends buy me tickets for my birthday.

A funny thing, that.

A funny thing, too that my best friend was sitting with her two rows in front of me.

He assumed we’d be able to do something together for my birthday. During the intermission, he asked if “we’d be able to hang out.”

I said, “no.”

He has never called me since that day in the National Theater. He made his decision and I made mine.

I remember going to Les Mis with her and her family a long time ago, sitting in those same seats. Exchanging the same glances when her parents weren’t looking.

A long time ago, he and I would have long discussions about how to be good people. How to treat women “right.” I learned a lot from him then.

Now I don’t think that there’s anything I want to learn from him at all.

He looked so shocked when I said, “no.” He just couldn’t say anything.

I just couldn’t say anything else.