Amanda Leahy Seven Simultaneously Occurring Present Realities Of You and I

The One in Which We Never Meet
but in which I nonetheless see the distinct geometry of your face over and over again in dreams. Your eyebrows and the bridge of your nose are what I most often bring back with me, what I spend the rest of my life drawing and painting into the faces of other people, without ever understanding why.

The One in Which I Meet You as a Child
and I am old, and so never begin to love you, or even wonder what it would be like to love you. Your face is still your face but always so young that I cannot recognize it, especially beneath the bowl haircut. You only ever wear primary colors. I am saddened most by this one.

The One in Which We Are the Same Age and Meet in High School
is perhaps my favorite, because rather than being attracted to you, I find you insufferable now that you are just like everyone else. Still, we become great friends, learn how to do drugs together, and spend a month driving across the country after graduation, eating only at diners, calling each other “asshat,” and fucking every fourth day out of sheer boredom.

The One in Which Your Wife Leaves You and/or Dies,
and then your children become unmade, or give us their blessing and ask to be sent off to boarding school interminably. In any event, we eventually travel the continent in a beat-up Volkswagen Kombi listening to early Beatles, and spend every winter surfing in the Nicoya Peninsula until we are too old to walk. You don't ever miss any of them.

The One in Which We Do it Anyway
which is to say, almost this one, but with just slightly shifted colors. The first time I see your wife and daughter from afar in the supermarket, I vomit. The second time, too. Eventually, you
stop communicating with me altogether.

But at least it happened.

The One in Which We Get Married and Grow Old Together
with our two perfect children and slew of dogs named after verbs, and fall out of love before twelve years have elapsed. But still knowing each other so completely, we function efficiently, homeostatically, and generally enjoy each other’s company. And when you begin to imagine any of the girls who work for you while we’re fucking, no, I don’t ever say anything.

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