There is an inexplicable kind of bliss in the metamorphosis of friends from strangers. The emotions are, at times, even more inexplicable when certain circumstances cause the reverse.
Her friend saw me first. She turned her head to look from the other side of the drugstore window as I stood waiting for my payment to process. I wanted to smile, perhaps even wave. Something. Anything. But her eyes were devoid of any real emotion. Anything I had to offer seemed unwelcome, unwanted. So I offered nothing.
I can attest to a time when certain exchanges between our eyes would be locked in what always seemed like an eternity. It was a time when the loudest words were spoken through dilated pupils and laugh lines deep as canals in our skin. Some of those canals, we later learned, would actually flood with unseasonal rainfall. But while time seemingly stood still, we did anything but.
Together we were fearless conquerors of the world and each other; we discovered entire new multiverses previously unknown to humankind. Eternity came and passed in a moment, with entire lifetimes spanning within each. Between every fall of her lashes, a birth and a death.
She used to be a star; incandescent yet ominous. A collection of energies my body could not wholly interpret or understand but admired anyway. She was present, like fresh coats of paint. Toxic, and equally intoxicating. All until her layers began to dry and peel in alarming crusts of white and gray gray gray. She was a dying star.
And I suppose I was the supernova.
It’s complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. Perhaps it’s better, safer, preferred – to be reduce one another to absolute strangers. Perhaps, but perhaps not. But I had never known the true length of a second in her presence until that moment, as we both stood on opposite sides of the glass, completely disconnected. We perhaps could not be more alien to one another. How strange for a second to last now only a second. How quiet our eyes have become in the midst of all the noise. How distant her side of the glass from my own.
There is an inexplicable kind of bliss in the metamorphosis of friends from strangers. And I will never understand the reverse.