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Because you don’t need the information and nor do I, I can tell you my friend April’s phone number from the fourth grade. My friend Carey’s, too.

But I can’t tell you what it means when the names don’t come. Not even to the tip of my tongue.

I saw my friend at the YMCA yesterday–it’d been six weeks. I met her frantic wide-eyed smile with a quick finger pointed in the direction I’d seen her boy dash off. Two hours later we caught up in the hallway with a hug. At which time we struggled to remember what we could of Christmas, surmising that we’d both had a good one. Though we couldn’t recall a single detail.

We touched elbows in parting. Made tentative plans to return to the zoo together. Or a park nearby. Or–glancing at the steady downpour–maybe just look for each other at the Y next Tuesday.

She turned to chase a child one way. I gathered mine and headed in the other. At which time I whispered desperately into my daughter’s ear. “Honey, what is the name of mommy’s friend?”

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