Mind Reading

It was as if he could read my mind. We hadn’t seen each other in eighteen or twenty years. There wasn’t time to count. We were in a public space, people were seated and standing around us, reading or looking at books, yet the encounter also felt private, as if we were alone in a bar, having a drink together, remembering what might have been. I hoped he couldn’t read that thought. I’d hid or forgotten my feelings for him. Why did they appear when he happened to be standing before me, looking at me as if my mind were an open book. We’d never been close. We studied psychology together at the same graduate school. His voice interrupted these mental wanderings. We should stay in touch. I agreed. What he hadn’t said saddened me. He might have wanted to have a drink, the drink of my fantasy. Seconds or minutes passed. He had to go. His partner was waiting for him at a restaurant. Did he know my secret? What secret? I’d had feelings for someone twenty years ago, someone who’d pursued his dream of becoming a psychoanalyst and now had his own private practice in California. I was happy for him. I wished I could read my own mind. I had no idea what I was feeling, which was a start. It was time to count those eighteen or twenty years.

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