Friends We Haven’t Met

I’m having an afternoon out. It includes a cookie, because all the best afternoons should. I had a late lunch with a friend and we accidentally talked for three hours. Now I’m having my cookie by myself in Panera and when I get done and hit Publish on this I’ll be trying to write something else.

When I walked in here, I looked over and saw Paul’s Uncle Carl in a booth. I waved. He didn’t wave back, probably because the sun was behind me and he may never have actually seen me without Paul and the boys. I have no identity of my own anyway. It’s fine.

But the lady in the booth behind him waved back enthusiastically. Her kids turned around and waved, too. Guys, I have never seen her before in my life. I think, anyway. But what was I going to do? I smiled and kept waving.

“How are you?” she said.

“Great! How are you?”

“Oh, you know. Good!”

The line moved up toward the counter and I moved out of her sightline. I snuck a look back over my shoulder, and I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but I would bet the remaining balance on my Panera gift card that she was telling her daughter she had no idea who I am.

Dear Friend I Haven’t Actually Met, I’m sorry I confused you this afternoon. I’m a little crazy, but I’m harmless. I promise not to stalk you. I bet we’d get along, though. We have punks about the same age, and we’re both too polite to not wave at a total stranger smiling at us from across the room.

I hope your afternoon is lovely. And I hope you had a cookie. The icing is great.

I did say hello properly to Uncle Carl once I had my drink in hand. He was still a little confused. Probably because the lady behind him, who was obviously my dear, long-lost friend, left without hanging around to talk to me.

I let him think you were late for an appointment.

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