The Book Ends (HS 118)

When elderly former lovers meet unexpectedly,
do both know that whatever they felt for each other
is gone, neither feeling the same way anymore?
Is there some kind of vacuum, a dead space
between them?  How awkward is it?  Is it

the kind of awkward where if you look it up
in the dictionary, right, you will see a picture illustrating
the word, and that picture will be the two of us?

And will we speak of nothing, or of something
bland, neutral, the old weather cliché, or whether
we look the same?  Will we be unamazed that
we were able to recognize each other at all?

I wonder if I’ll waste words, you too, old friends,
about how nice it is to see you again?

* * * * *

Today’s trigger is

old friends

Use it in a piece of writing and then post that piece below. I would love to read it : )


  1. Lanning, I just love your writing! I followed your advice, spent about twenty minutes to write something about ‘old friends’. Not very good, but hey, it’s a start.

    Old Friends by Fred Peyer 1/7/2020

    She sat in front of me in English class. Always nicely dressed, her long blond hair done up in a ponytail. When she turned her head, the ponytail swished from right to left, from left to right, like a real tail keeping flies at a distance. I fell in love with that ponytail. Some days I was so mesmerized by its movements, I had no idea what the teacher was talking about. Did not even realize there was a teacher. There was no world outside of that ponytail.
    One day she turned around, looked at me seriously with her large blue eyes, shaded by long eyelashes.
    “Are you staring at my back?” she asked, “I can feel it, you know. But I don’t mind.”
    Suddenly I had lost my voice somewhere in Antarctica.
    “It’s OK,” she said with a sweet smile, “I really don’t mind. Do you want to go for an ice cream after school?”
    At this point, my whole body was slithering over the ice at the South Pole.
    What had just happened? Did she really ask me to have ice cream with her?

    That is how it started. Her name was Cindy. First there was the ice cream, later came walks along the shore, and much later a very tentative touching of lips. We spent the whole semester together, and I was in love. But, like all good things, it was not meant to last. Her father got a new job and the family moved to the other side of the country. We did write a few times, but eventually life took over and we lost contact.

    Twenty years later I was in Chicago for a conference. After the meeting some of us attendees decided to try out a new restaurant that had just opened inside a shopping mall to great reviews.
    As we walked into the mall, I noticed an ice cream shop. As the type of guy whose motto is “life is uncertain, dessert first!” I naturally had to check it out. The store was empty except for the saleslady who was looking for something with her back turned to me.
    I could not believe what I was seeing. A blond ponytail. As she turned around, we both stood there as if hit by lightning. “Cindy?” I stammered. “Paul?” she answered.

    It had started with ice cream and it ended with ice cream. I now own that shop, Cindy is my wife, and I can just hope that my boy will one day bring the love of his life to enjoy a scoop of cookies and cream.

    Liked by 1 person

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