Other Waters

“No one ever ever knows anyone.” — Rules of Attraction.

“You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.” — Heraclitus

Two very short love stories, poached from the lives of people I admire (I hope they don’t mind)…

—- 1 —-

A is, by nature, spare in her belongings; for her, moving is an occasion to strip down to essentials again and again. Her significant other keeps almost everything. Cheap souvenirs from past vacations, equipment for sports not played in a decade. For him it’s never a question of whether or not to rent a storage space, but rather how large it should be. They occasionally clash on this particular point. Once or twice, cleaning their desk, she’s thrown away his old receipts. Inevitably they argue when he asks about one that has been discarded. Why do you need them? What good are they now if you’re not going to return anything, if there’s no warranty? she asks. He answers that some carry meaning, and confesses that he still has the receipts from their first date.

—- 2 —-

As part of a game, a friend made a mysterious comment at J’s significant other’s birthday party a few years ago. It was an inside joke that J wasn’t privy to the meaning of, referring to a period of time they had spent traveling separately a few months after they’d met and a few months before they were engaged. The comment also seemed to refer to a girl in a foreign country. Was there another woman? Had he sown some wild oats without ever confessing? She tried let it go, but eventually it came up again. The girl the inside joke referred to was her. For years she had been jealous of herself.


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