I Accidentally Saw a Picture of You


I accidentally saw a picture of you because you are still a friend of a friend of the Internet.

It was a picture of a party with the appropriate amount of cool people in hip glasses… and a dude in a Paris, France t-shirt.  I didn’t know that Paris made shirts.

In this photograph, people are mid-conversation, their mouths shaped with what are surely interesting words.  One man stands awkwardly in his beard choice.  Old friends embrace center frame, most sincerely, with open clenched hands and softly closed eyes.

You stand in the back, slightly off-center, the only one looking at the camera.  You have that half-smile I recognize.  The one between pleasure and obligation.   You’re wearing your shirt the way you did… and do… down to the third button (or is that the two and a halfth button?).  You look comfortable and relaxed, with just the most tender amount of self-doubt.

You’re with a girl.  She’s brown-haired and side-swept.  I imagine that she’s the kind of girl who can easily shop for jean shorts, and speaks kindly more often than not.  She seems like the kind of girl who hates New York City because it wreaks havoc on her shoes (really she just thinks it’s a big and scary place), but once had the time of her life in Spain on a backpacking trip when she was 23.  Her gaze is focused on the embracing couple as near strangers capable of judgement.  She stands bolted next to you like you’re her anchor in the social storm.

You two seem finely matched… but what do I know?  (Nothing at all.)

I accidentally saw a picture of you and it reminded me that I was dating a man rightfully shaking his fist at God, while trying to hold my hand with the other.  I was reminded of how fiercely we tried to hold our relationship together,  and how devastated and relieved we were in its destruction.  There’s water under that bridge.

I accidentally saw a picture of you.  No big deal.  I wrote about it.

316 thoughts on “I Accidentally Saw a Picture of You

  1. I squinted and looked and saw the picture too. I saw this unbelievably talented, beautiful girl with grace at her fingertips standing looking at the murky water under that bridge. I placed in her hand a prayer of comfort. It was wrapped in parchment paper.

  2. Oh Joy, I felt my heart flip and a little tear form reading this. I truly hope, though in reality you are a person I have never met who lives across the world from me, that you are happy. I love to read everything you write, it’s like an old friend is speaking to me, giving me the great advice I so rarely find from my actual friends. I agree with other comments here, you should write a book – you have that quality of making your words seem effortless, though I’m sure posts like this take a great deal of effort and courage to share.

    Keep it coming – your food posts, your ‘real life’ posts, your poetic posts like this one – I love them all. You are totes maj girlfriend!

  3. tears in my eyes, sparkles of happiness for what you’ve got now. thanks for sharing. those catchyouoffguardpics are beeps.

  4. relationships are weird. it’s always strange seeing the person you once spent so much time with when they’re not “yours” anymore. it’s almost too hard to take! I totally understand how you feel. your writing is beautiful!

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