Half Full or Half Empty?
I called him “Cup Guy” because in every photo on his dating profile, he held a cup. Last Pride month, our relationship fizzled. Five months later, I watched him kiss someone new at “our” bar in the West Village. During the kiss, Cup Guy’s eyes were locked on mine. I couldn’t look away. Later, I saw him order two vodka-Cokes, likely for himself and his date. Surprise: He sauntered to my table. “Take it,” he said, grinning, sliding a drink over, before leaving abruptly. I stared at this cup, wondering if it was a peace offering or an invitation. — Dillon Fernando
A Type of Second Sight
Before my divorce, I took lots of selfies and posted them on Facebook. I read the comments greedily: “Beautiful family,” “looking great.” We must be OK, I reassured myself, if people see us that way. What an astonishment to fall in love again in my 50s. I didn’t know intimacy this easy was possible, like loosening shoelaces you didn’t know were tied too tight. On our first vacation together, I photographed our long shadows in the desert, holding hands. But I didn’t post it. I didn’t need to. Being looked at, I’ve realized, is not the same as being seen. — Sarah Gundle
The Greatest Guy’s Great Son
There is a woman I’m so in love with and we’ve been together for 18 months. She broke up with me last week. Driving my 10-year-old son, Max, to a pool party near Mulholland Drive, he asked me how I was feeling about it. I told him I was sad and he said he was sad, too. But then he said something so beautiful. He said, “Dad, she’s missing out on the greatest guy. You’re amazing.” And I slowed the car down to a stop and cried. — Steven Dworman
A Meeting of Mes
Imagine sitting at a table with past versions of yourself. I think it would look something like the scene in “The Nutty Professor,” in which Eddy Murphy plays all his family members. I’d be at a dining table: My current, 20-year-old self, sitting between 18-year-old me with her hopeful stare, my 12-year-old me who’s too insecure to look up, and my 10-year-old me whose confidence is immeasurable. The star of the show would be baby me with my hair, thick and combed, like a bachatero from the ’70s, smelling like sweet hospital soap, sleeping peacefully. — Niomi Nunez