Nonfiction | March 01, 2021

One night while counting down the till at Casa de Agave, the San Diego tequila bar I’d been working for a couple of fun but exhausting years, I received an unexpected text: Hey stranger . . .

          Rowan and I had dated throughout my final anxiety-riddled year of law school. Our breakup was hard but practical: her remaining year of legal studies, the relatively short time we’d been together, my desperate need to escape the monotony of Illinois and explore the West and try to become a writer. But we’d been good together while we lasted. Rowan was into hard rock, double gin and tonics, Stephen King novels, animal rights activism, and the wearing of very tight blue jeans—interests that had mirrored my own more or less seamlessly. In truth, looking back on law school, on those three interminably dull, dry, slogging, soulless years, Rowan was the only thing I missed. So I was excited to hear from her, although as far as I knew she was still back in the Midwest practicing law. That, and she was engaged, or so said the grapevine.

          Hey stranger . . .

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