I had dinner last night (with my husband, you remember him) at a restaurant where I once had dinner with you. It was strange. It has been so many years since I have been anywhere that smelled even faintly of you, and thinking back I believe that was the only time we ever had dinner together, at opposite ends of a very long, very crowded table. Mostly it was cigarettes, with a view of the parking garage, and drinks, coffee and sodas to make it through the work day and beers on all those Friday afternoons when we stole away from friends and loved ones who expected to be invited and had our kindred hour together.
I don't talk about you anymore, other than those rare times when my daughter (she's six now, can you even imagine) asks how she got her name and I tell her a simple story from when we were young. I hardly even think about you anymore, and when I stop to think about that it makes me sad, because I swore, as we all do, that I would never forget, and yet I have. I have forgotten so much, so many details, all of the conversations, other than a bit here and a word there. I wish I could remember it all, but maybe I had to forget so that I could forgive you for dying.
I wish you were still here. I wish your kids could play with my kids and we could still sneak off, once or twice a year, for that quiet beer that nobody else ever quite understood. Or even if we wouldn't be friends anymore, I would like the world just a little bit better if you were still somewhere in it.