An appointment for 2:00. I arrived on the dot, with the wind ruffling my shirt. I stood there on the corner, a bit lost, and glanced at the passers by. Of course you wouldn't come. Why would you?
I swung my pack forward, pulled my phone out of it, and lowered it to the ground. Checked the time. Glanced at the sky for encouragement. High clouds and a steady wind. There would be sailboats on the Columbia this afternoon, and kite surfers off Rooster Rock. That desire to let the wind lift you up; to let the river sweep you down: Spring pulsing.
You came around the corner, limping slightly: a windblown version of your photos, not so tall as I'd expected. You spotted me and checked, but then came on resolutely.
No words: that was the deal. You walked straight up to me and put your face in my shoulder, put your arms around my waist. I put my arms around yours, my hands registering the lumbar aponeurosis, the grain of the lats; the first phalange of my thumb finding its way home to an indentation between two vertebrae and nesting there. It was my heart, not yours, thumping: the blood rushing in my radial artery.
We hugged and stepped back, holding each other's elbows, gazing at each other's faces with curiosity. We both laughed, and squeezed. Stepped back again to hold both hands, squeezed again, and let go. I lifted my pack again, touched your shoulder in farewell, and walked on: lighter, happier, relieved, thoughtful. The ordinary light glanced from sidewalk to street window, and back again. Well. Thank you.