“I’ve decided that my life is a do-over.”

Naturally.   Suzanne has always bent the rules to suit her whim; why should time be excluded?  But she is one of my most amusing, if unstable, friends and her adventures always make good read.  “What have you done that prompts you to start all over again?”

She looked at me from top of her reading glasses.  “If you tell anybody that I have to wear these, I’ll kill you.”

“Can you please stick to the subject?”

“I can’t be known as an old maid,” she said, taking a sip of her cosmopolitan.  “Josh thinks I’m only 25.”

“He’s the one that needs glasses…”

She ignored me.  “We’re going snowboarding during spring break;  Joshie’s parents have a house in Vail.”

I wasn’t sure what tickled me more, that she was dating a college boy or the vision of her schussing down a mountain on a glorified skateboard.  “I hope they both signed his permission slip.”

“You’re just jealous, Kimmy,” she simpered.  “I’ve managed to turn back the clock and you haven’t.”

“Let me guess.   He’s the reason you’re starting from scratch?”

“Why not?  Can you think of a better one?”

“A few come to mind…”

“He’s nothing like Neil,” she said with a sigh.  “He’s my boo.”

“You mean you’ve actually met this one?” said I, remembering her last breakup.  “He’s not one of your mental inventions?”

She made the best attempt at a frown that Botox would permit.  “Internet sites are passé.  I never use them.”

“So where did you meet Josh… in study hall?”

“As a matter of fact, I met him at the gallery,” she said archly.

The gallery, not just a random one?”

She gave me a stare over her spectacles.  “You’ve never taken my passion for art seriously, Kimmy.  I live for it.”

I tried to remember when last she visited an art gallery.  It must have been on a field trip of our own, way back in the sixth grade.  “Of course, I do.  I kept watch while you drew graffiti on the stalls in the womens’ toilet.”

She wasn’t amused.  “If you had any real appreciation of art, I might wrangle an invite for the next show… if you’d promise not to make a fool of yourself.”

“Like throwing myself at teenaged boys?”

“Josh is not a teenager,” said Suzanne, drawing herself up.   “He’s 20.”

“I’m relieved.  One more year, and you can share your drink with him.”

“Why do I bother arguing with a cretin?”  She closed her eyes and heaved another sigh.  “Age is irrelevant when you’re truly in love…”

Apparently the truth was as well.  “You shaved off twenty-five years from your real age, Suzanne.  That’s a lot of irrelevance.”

“So what?” she said breezily.  “It’s my time and I can do what I want with it.”

I smiled to myself.  Suzanne was a queen of reckless optimism.  “And when it’s up, what then?

“I’ll renegotiate with death.”


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