He had a lot to show me. Messy hair and pale skin and the money to afford a better education than I could. I was just visiting those ivy-encrusted towers. He lived there. Mark picked me up on the corner one afternoon when I was waiting for the bus. A brief pit stop at Wegmans. Sushi and Fresh Samantha. He loved them both. I'd never tried either. My dad's fear of germs had long kept us away from sushi, and his fear of spending money made Fresh Samantha a stupid, stupid endeavor.

I'd been hiding behind my father's walls so long I barely knew what walls even were.

Mark was rich. Mark was rich and he didn't know it. Mark was the kind of guy who talked about how cool it would be to be poor, and he knew. He knew because he'd loved the simple life, eating rice out of wooden bowls around a fire that summer he spent in Africa. Mark wore the best clothes and lived in the best apartment, and while he was trying to win me over he swore he had lived it poor when he was little, before the divorce, and his current extravagance was only a response to the way he'd lived before. When he was trying to hurt me he told about his stashes and stashes of cold, powerful money, and he showed me what I didn't have, that I didn't know.

I had something to show him too, though. And much like everyone before and after him, it left him only sadder. I seem to crumble everybody I touch. Mark's money left his pockets full but left everything else strangely empty. He smoked pot all the time, every day, and pretended he cared about his work and sought more degrees and Masters' than ever could do him good. Eventually he disappeared off into the mountains, to try and find out what he'd lost.

I see Mark in his flannel pajamas inside his doorway, looking at me from the light that shone from his room and into my darkness. I remember being stoned for the first time ever, and trying to explain to him I was in love with somebody else. I remember losing him that way.

I brought my old boyfriend to Wegmans and bought him sushi and Fresh Samantha two months later and wondered why no other beverage would do.

I went to Wegmans tonight and bought them for myself, and thought a lot about it. I'd gone vegetarian since I knew Mark. I found something that didn't have fish in it but was more than just rolls of cucumber. I found a Fresh Samantha I'd never tried and ate them both at home, wondering what I'd learned, and how I might be richer than I knew. And so might he.

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