n. sadness

So you see your friend again after a long time. You spend a day, maybe two — should’ve been five, a week, a month, maybe you should’ve never left again anymore —  perfecting the art of tolerance — a relationship built on stone.

Where does sand come from, your friend asks.

*

You walk around a different city full of foreign avenues and unfamiliar forks in the road, enter a nondescript antique shop with a hidden book store, spontaneously decide to attend an event an hour away, make unexpected acquaintances, run out of money for the fare home, wish you were richer while thinking on your dinner. Right as you round the corner you see a mother and her child, sharing a siopao.

*

You question the meaning of home, and city, and friend.

*

The book store smell lingers; vanilla, dust, what seems like traces of coffee and hot chocolate. You pull out the book you bought — aged, tattered around the edges, the veins in its bent spine telling of the life it had before you — and find a signature.

To Charlee, it said, so maybe you wouldn’t forget.

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