It was a Washington DC party, a white tie occasion, with all the senators and lobbyists. I was a campaign manager back then. She had been a girl I knew in college. Ten years later, at the party, she was a woman I hardly knew. She was working for a tech company, in town on business, networking with the bigshots.
We stepped outside for a minute. It was a warm evening, but she still wrapped herself with her own arms and stood next to me. It made her seen insignificant and defenseless, but I knew she was not so. She had never been.
“It’s a beautiful evening, isn’t it?” I said.
“Yes,” she agreed, “It is.”
I was trying to think of a way to impress her, but that was not possible, so I just enjoyed her closeness. Her shoulder was right next to mine, but not quite touching. All the things I could come up with were very important. Things like that you have to leave for special moments, right? You cannot just talk to people about deep personal feelings when you meet them for the first time after ten years.
So we just stood there. She had always been a great pal of mine.