I see someone I haven't seen in two months. I see him outside the AMC theater in Columbia. He stands there with his girlfriend, who I also haven't seen in two months.
They spot me first. I can tell when I recognize them; they've been looking at me for a few moments. Surprised. Baffled.
I smile and close the distance.
I don't have to think too hard to remember the last time I spoke to him. I remember well, actually.
It was the day I never returned to work. It was the day I sent him a message instead of showering and changing into my uniform. It was the day I drove myself up to Towson. Nervous. Anxious. It was the day I parked my car and headed into the walk-in clinic. Told them I needed care. That I was a reason for concern. It was the day I took my future and laid it out before me. Laid it out and began toying with it. Experimenting. Prodding. Poking.
So, I approach them and I shake his hand and I give her a hug.
She asks how I'm doing and I say ok.
I think this is the truth.
We make small talk on the movie we walked out of and the little things we occupy ourselves with.
His girlfriend tells me to come and visit sometime.
I tell her I need to.
He tells me my beard looks good.
I thank him. Laugh.
We part shortly after. With another handshake and hug, we part. And I walk away thinking only of breathing.
Just keep breathing.