The Art of Re-Acquainting

We were sitting in a sports bar in La Jolla. Loud, full, friendly. You had just come back from a cruise. A long cruise. Your hair was longer, and a bit unruly, and you had grown a beard. I loved it. My Bohemian Seafarer, personified.
It was crowded; we had found two seats where the bar turns a corner, our backs to most of the patrons. We ordered wine and beer, and something to eat… mostly pre-occupied with dispersing that familiar nugget of time it always took to re-acquaint each other after that ocean of time in between. We knew the drill.
Missing you was a double-edged sword.
There was a woman sitting at a table with a couple of men, across the room to my right. She would catch my eye, turn back to her companions, then look over again. Eventually she got up, walked over to where we were sitting, leaned in, looked me in the eye, and said, “OK, now you are gorgeous – but what my friends over there and I want to know is”– she gestured to the men seated at her table–
“What are you doing with Ernest Hemingway?”
It took a few seconds to sink in… I smiled, slowly, looking at her the whole time. I turned to look at you – laughed, nodded, and said, not looking away, “Hm. I never noticed that. She’s right.”
I turned back to her, and gave her an answer I don’t think you heard:
“Because he is the love of my life.”
She acknowledged my decisive look for a moment, nodded slightly, smiled and said,
“I’ll be sure to let them know.”

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