It's Happened to Everyone
Bezalel Stern

It's happened to everyone, you're walking down the street when you see someone you think you know, then you get a little closer and you realize you don't know the person at all, but you've already waved so you strike up a conversation, and it turns out, even though you don't know the guy, you have so much in common, you have so much to talk about, and one thing leads to another, the conversation leads to coffee, the coffee leads to drinks, followed by dinner at that restaurant you've always wanted to go to but who goes to such a fancy restaurant alone, and then it's three years later, you've moved into his apartment, you're thinking about getting married, he asks you, you say yes, you're still not sure he's the 'one,' but you don't know if you believe in the 'one' anyway, not really, not anymore, and some more time passes, you look out the window of the suburban street you live on, bikes lying strewn on the yard (you always tell Robert to lock his bike, it's going to get stolen one of these days) and he's coming home soon, it's supposed to be 'date night,' you're not sure you believe in 'date night' anymore, you're not sure you even want to see him, you have an irrational fear (or maybe it's not so irrational) he's sleeping with his secretary, his co-worker, he's certainly not sleeping with you, and more time passes, he's calling you, calling and calling, you don't pick up, he calls again, you don't know why he continues to call, to pretend you're still friends, there's no point in pretending, not anymore, not now that the kids are grown, you're in the city again, living the life you wished you led before you met him, a wannabe artist, you spend your days in coffee shops and galleries, the memories of him so distant now, it's been so many years, you probably wouldn't even recognize the love of your life, the father of your children, if he was walking down the street. Not unless he waved.

Bezalel Stern has stuff in or coming from McSweeney's, SmokeLong, The New Yorker and others. In 2013/14, he was an Emerging Writer Fellow at the Center for Fiction in New York.

Detail of art on main page derived from photo by Joshua Rothhas.

Read more of his work in the archive.

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