Bob and I have this mutual friend Tyler who fell off the grid for a while in order to figure out some personal stuff. He was dealing with a lot. He’s coming up from it now and reached out to us early last week. Said he wanted to hang out on Friday night.

Thursday comes around and Bob sends a message out to see where we all wanna go. No response from Tyler. Eventually Tyler calls to say he isn’t feeling well. So Bob and I go for drinks without him and, while we’re at the bar, I mention that Rosie and I are planning to see each other tomorrow for a party up in Hollywood. That it looks like we might be able to mend things after all.

Bob nods. He’s encouraging cuz he knows I want him to be.

We finish up at the bar and I go home and while sitting up with my roommate I get a call from Rosie and step outside to take it.

She plays it casual for a while before telling me in a roundabout way that she doesn’t wanna join me at the party tomorrow. We hang up.

Tomorrow comes, Saturday, and after work I go by myself to the party. I thought I was gonna drink a lot and stay the night (it’s an old friend’s house) but tonight for some reason I dont have much of a stomach for beer and end up leaving at 11 and get home around midnight. I walk the dog and drink some vodka and eat some ramen and go to bed.

At 1:30 in the morning I wake to my phone buzzing on the night table. It’s a strange number but it’s got my area code and I know right away that it’s Rosie, drunk, calling me from a friend’s place or a bar and wanting to talk about Us, and to explain why she didn’t wanna go with me tonight, and I know that she’ll wanna talk about why we can’t work as a couple and all the other things we’ve been through a dozen times already — a conversation that’ll go nowhere and that I shouldn’t be having but I wanna have it anyway cuz of her voice, cuz I want things to be as they were, cuz I’m weak, desperate, etc.

I flop real fast across the bed, scaring the dog awake, and I snatch the phone so clumsily that bottles rattle on the night table and a book plops on the floor and I put the phone to my ear and growl an eager groggy “hi?”


It’s Tyler. Sounding strange.

“I really need to talk to someone.”

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