He buys me a beer.
I realize that in more of a decade of friendship we have never done this; sitting in a bar, buying rounds for each other, talking about marriage and out lack of lust for it.
In thirteen years the little pale boy has turned himself into quite the man; I have done something similar for myself, only that my end result is a woman. The acceptance of those new tittles still makes our mouths taste funny, dark stouts help diminish the discomfort.
Sitting there I feel normal; the average woman that goes out to drinks with an old friend, the average person that can keep relationships for a long time.
We say hi to people from our shared past, it’s what usually happens in this small town. We say goodbye to them and carry on with the conversation. He talks about genetics; I talk about a documentary film I saw. He switches to talking about where he would like to live next and I chat about photography.
I buy him a beer.
In our years of friendship he has seen me during too many break ups, but still, he happily asks about whether there is new love in my life. I adore him for it.
I have seen him go through painful events; his grownup face, smiling, is one of the most beautiful sights this world has.
We are OK. Our yearly tête-à-tête has come and gone. We stop buying beers, grab our jackets and head out.