It is surreal. I am across the table from one of my first loves. I was 14 when I loved him. Then I thought I was so old, but six years have passed and now I feel so young. He has changed. The intensity that was in his eyes at age 16 has waned. I see a serenity and a peace in his gaze that I had never known before.

This is the boy who was forced to see a shrink because he put a knife in his arm. Now he is the man pursuing a doctorate in psychology, and who saved a patient from suicide two nights ago.

His girlfriend is beside him, and they are clearly the sort of couple who have built a home inside themselves, becoming complete without the world around them. Their stare holds meaning I cannot fathom. The touch of their hands is constant and electric.

I do not even know this man anymore, but it is still strange to see him in love with someone else.

My ex-lover, now one of my best friends is beside me. We slept in the same bed last night and I laid my head on his shoulder. He is comfortable. He is lovely, and feels a little bit like home.

The four of us talk about everything. Four random people with no connection except for a friendship spent six years ago. It is easier than I expected. When it is time to go we embrace, and the three of them exchange addresses on palm pilots like good yuppies.

My ex-lover and I leave them in a shop near Astor Place where they have found knickknacks that amuse them. The two of us go home to his apartment and I gather my things to go. He holds me and strokes my back. My ex-lover and I kiss goodbye on the lips and it makes me feel happy and full. But grounded. I know myself and I am not dreaming. What is not meant will not be, but for now I am so close, tied inside to another human being. The care in me swells.

Driving fast makes me relaxed and sends me to a place of pleasant waking dreaming. The sun setting over the northern Pennsylvania sky glows magenta. I am almost crying, staring at the beauty as the hills begin to rain with violet and blue and the clouds grow laced with threads of crimson. Night descends and the sky is full before me.

The road leads me home. Sleep is in my eyes and I let the work I have neglected slide to bask in this happiness and this intensity in my chest. My journal fills with pages and pages and pages of lilting scrawl as I try to explain to myself all that has happened and the million things I feel this weekend.

Of the million things I feel, I feel alive.