We sat in the bar, drinking beer and talking rubbish. He was drunker than I. I wasn't drunk. I was tired, my legs hurt and I needed my bed. Our glasses clinked during the pauses, toasting the reunion. Every few minutes one of us would say 'decade', or 'ten years', or 'so young' and then shake the head and look into the middle distance of nowhere. We talked about an ex we shared, late nights, drink and drugs and where the hell everyone was now. We talked about where the hell we were now.
It was talk to start. The words and the stories merely vocabulary and grammar. It took time. The memories returned slowly. Vague, incomplete, more emotion, instinct and hunch than recall, than seeing what was. But they came back to the surface, one leading to another, connected, and all the feelings that were returned. Some were alien, encased in an amber of youth, petrified and strange.
We laughed and ordered another round, incredulous at our lives. That with a beer and words we realised we lived, that it was full life, that none of it could have been predicted. And that there was so much. One memory leading to another, to another; twenty years of living in ten.
The rest of the pub needn't have been there. It was irrelevant. Talk of sports and gossip lingered in the air around us.
He switched to coke. I stayed with beer. He grabbed a cab. Home to his wife and child.
I shook my head and wandered home to an empty bed.
I didn't go for a run this morning.