Wherever he is, I hope he knows I thought he was cute.

It was right before I met Jack, I was hanging around my ex-boyfriend's apartment -- we were trying to have the Perfect Breakup which entailed being there for each other and prolonging the heartbreak as long as possible -- and one of his friends caught my eye. He was sort of cute in a rugged way, and sort of funny in a world weary way that can be so compelling in the right person. And despite the fact that I'd vowed not to get involved with anyone for-possibly-ever, I was completely prepared to make an exception for this guy and I was getting the same vibe from him. But oh, hi, we were in my ex-boyfriend's living room, it wasn't really the time or the place to cuddle up and get to know each other. Anyway, one of the other guys who was there for the Lakers' game said to cute, rugged, and world-weary, "Hey, guy who will not be named! Why don't you have a girlfriend?" And this guy, he smiled at his shoes and said, "Aw, leave me alone. My next girlfriend is already my ex-girlfriend."

He was about to leave town, anyway, but when he said that I felt he was referring to me, and in my heart I thanked him for that, for his honesty and for a turn of phrase that's stuck with me for more than thirteen years.