Life After Five

Posted on September 11, 2008

For us, the so-called “Facebook” generation, keeping tabs on each other has never been easier. An e-mail there, a Wall post there – can people ever truly forget us? But occasional correspondence in passing is very different from actually getting out of your swivel chair and reuniting with someone – you never quite know what will happen.

Such were my thoughts as I entered the Starbucks on 15th and Union Square, where I instantly recognized her at the window. She was a real businesswoman, focused on her laptop, occasionally looking up to see if the world was still there. I wasn’t surprised. Back in high school, she was one of the most driven people I knew – a senator, member of the student council – someone who preferred to take the oars, rather than float down life’s river.

We exchanged smiles, then embraced – almost as if surprised that we were standing in front of each other for the first time in five years. Two twenty-something New Yorkers in that eternal forum for intellectual discourse – the coffeehouse. One question rises to our lips, and we almost ask it at the same time: “How are you doing?”

I’m a code warrior for a troubled investment bank, who spends his off-hours writing, photographing, and perusing Wikipedia for the esoteric. She’s a publicist for a publishing house downtown, thinking about if this where she wants to be. A perfectly valid question, and one any of us does well to ask himself, while still unattached and free from the needs of others. When you’ve put on the cap and gown, and walk out those doors for the last time, they don’t give you a pamphlet telling you what to do with the rest of your days. We move on, with as many possibilities as a blank canvas.

The conversation is as breezy as the evening, the words flowing like the Hudson – each of us wondering why it took so long for this to happen. By the time 9 o’clock rolls around, the next workday is uncomfortably near, we are laughing – at the children we were then, at the grown-ups are now…

There is one final embrace, just before we reach the platform of the 5 train. It tells us that we’re both doing okay.

» Filed Under Everything and Nothing


One Response to “Life After Five”

  1. OneLuvGurlNo Gravatar on September 11th, 2008 6:42 pm

    🙂 I’m glad you guys were able to meet and catch up! I wish I could do that with so many of my former “friends”.

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