“It’s pretty hard to wrangle me when I’m 800 miles away,” he said, and I wondered if he was sad about that too.

Wherever you find me, you are also likely to find at least three despondent house plants just waiting to be put out of their misery.

She thought about meeting him at the airport. With a little online sleuthing she’d be able to narrow down the options and at least be at the right terminal. But the reality settled in after a few manic moments. It’s been more than 10 years since you could waltz up to the jetway door to greet your passenger of choice. All those romantic movie greetings were truly, actually fiction to Generation Y.

So, her options. Stand around near the line for Einstein Brothers? Fight the mass exodus from the terminal and be the lone, oblivious person holding everyone up at the narrow exit rope?

Or is macking it at baggage claim socially acceptable?

She resigned. She would wait. For an invitation. A reservation. A killer black dress, and a cherry-red lipstick that would make him regret.

The cat scarfs down his breakfast before meandering over to the back door. There, in front of the long pane of glass, he takes a slow, elaborate bath in between long moments of wistful gazing onto the deck. I’m sure he can only see planks of wood and the vines that crawl across the trellis between our house and the neighbors’. But when I lean over to scratch his ears, I can see right into their kitchen. They’re up when I am, pouring milk into coffee, making tiny French meals to go with their serene French personalities. We never seem to catch each other’s eye, but I’m sure they can see right through to our kitchen sink. If they’ve seen me once, they’ve seen me a hundred times, elbow-deep in suds. I am sure they know I have itchy dish-pan hands from October to May.

I’m not sure if the cat is looking for an escape or just a change of scenery. But mornings on the black-and-white tile are calamitous. We trip over each other’s feet as I crack open the can and he anticipates the precise moment when the morsel-packed spoon will hit his ceramic bowl.

I feed him first, to get him out of my hair.

Sometimes it seemed that she had majored in melancholy and minored in unrequited love.

He said, “I have to tell you a secret,” and I held my breath, even though I already knew.

11 unopened packages of unopened hot dog buns (8 per pack). White buns from Safeway. You’ll have to call me for me to bring them down.