You called. We ran into each other’s apologies, and we laughed at the naked relief in our voices.
I’m sorry, I wanted to call, but I was scared to, I say.
Shit, I was scared to call, too, you say, but one of us had to.
Thank you for calling.
Thank you for picking up. Where the hell are you? Why’s it so loud?
I’m at Ikea, I say, waiting for it to open — or, really, for the restaurant to open, not Ikea itself. I figured I’d get breakfast then call you or text you or something.
You laugh. Is there something special about Ikea breakfasts?
Oh my god, have you never had an Ikea breakfast?! Ninety-nine cent breakfast? I ask, incredulous, and you laugh again, say you haven’t, what, why, are they special? I go off on my spiel — no, the food is kinda really shitty, and the coffee is terrible, but it’s all gloriously cheap and honestly pretty great if you take it for what it is — cheap, mass-produced food, emphasis on “cheap,” not dwelling too much on “food.”
Good to know, you say, and there’s a lull in our conversation, a little dip and pause. I look at my watch; it’s almost nine-thirty, almost time for the restaurant to open. I’m planning on eating the Swedish pancakes breakfast with a side of bacon and maybe a slice of chocolate cake. I’m going to get a cup of coffee, try to mask the bitterness of the coffee with a lot of half-and-half. I really was going to call you or text you or something after I’d eaten.
I missed you, I say. I miss you.
Me, too, you say back. But I’ll see you in two days. We’re all set to go with crashing at my friend’s in Carroll Gardens.
Good to know. Thanks for making that happen.
Any time, happy to. What time does your flight land on Friday again?
I know; tell me about it. I apologize in advance for being a total zombie on Friday.
As long as you don’t try to eat me, we’re good. I’ll text you her address later. She said to feel free to show up whenever you land, even if it’s five in the morning. She’s always up super early, and she’ll probably get mad at you if you don’t just go straight there and take a nap.
Good to know. And you’ll be in around eleven?
Should be. I’ll text with updates.
Can’t wait to see you.
Same. I’ll call you later tonight?
Okay. Have a good day! Love you.
Love you, too.