Wonder About Them All The Time


I wonder first about the only one with blonde hair. In college we met at the night of uplifting songs and skits and not a week later we watched The Matrix. I wonder if she ever became a veterinarian. I wonder if she broke another heart casually as she did mine. I can’t imagine she did. We only got older.

I wonder about others. I wonder if she became a social worker or if she ever got married to the would-be engineer. How I used to not eat, not sleep, wondering about her. I wonder about wasted youth.

I wonder if she still lives in Sioux Falls. She was my first and I wonder if she could tell. I wonder if she still invites other boys from MySpace — they must now be men from OkCupid — to her bed. I wonder about those guys. I wonder if they’re a regular guy with a regular job or if they’ve just got out of college and moved to Sioux Falls to make it in a band. I wonder if every once in a while one of the regular guys, an assistant manager at Citibank, a schoolteacher at Washington, does fall in her bed and I wonder if those men feel like I did, like the sun is shining directly on them, like God has granted them just a small piece of His favor.

I wonder if she ever got back with him. It was meticulously hand-drawn, in pencil, that picture on the wall. I wonder if perhaps it could have been her brother? I wonder, though, because of the funny way she posed, titling her head on his shoulder. I wonder if that’s why she never said a thing about the picture, or him. I wonder if I should just remember her as a lucky happenstance and stop wondering. But I can’t help it. She had such a round bottom. I wonder if I’ll ever see its equal.

I wonder if she got her ceramics business off the ground or even more if she ever found a husband, someone with a goatee and a SUV and a deep knowledge of the World. I wonder what she thought of the letter I wrote, if she thought I was crazy or sad or both. I wonder about her less now than I ever would’ve imagined I would have then. I wonder how that works.

I wonder about the one with curly hair.

I wonder about the one who went away to get her doctorate, though less and less do I wonder about her. I wonder if she ever got married to a man or to a woman; she had both girlfriends and boyfriends. Officially, I was never either one, so I probably shouldn’t wonder.

I wonder about the one I drank wine with in the afternoon, if she ever became a lawyer. I wonder if she settled down with the boy from her hometown, the one who had a band in Minneapolis. It’s odd, now that I think about it, she would show him to me. I wonder why it is we think of people we hardly know.

I wonder about the one who grew up in Hong Kong, if she ever became a fixture in the Seattle art scene. I wonder what she thought when I couldn’t finish and what she was thinking as she gave me that sorrowful look, then that limp hug goodbye. However, I’m lying, I don’t really have to wonder what she thought.

I wonder about the one who smoked so much weed. I wonder if she ever graduated from college. She was halfway into her 20s then and she’s probably almost 30 by now. I wonder if all that smoke clouded her brain.

I wonder about the one who worked at the League of Women Voters and who had tattoos all up on her arms. I wonder if she ever went back to Montana and found a rugged, established man to introduce to the mountain of a father she must have. I wonder, though that’s almost certainly what she did.

I wonder about others, about this time and that. I wonder where they are and what they’re doing and how many times they’ve been in love. I wonder if I only wanted them to help me forget my other wonderings. Worst of all, I wonder that.

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