The Longest Time

The wind whistled and seagulls cawed.  Pam pushed a stroller and I held Emma’s hand as we walked the length of the pier in autumn.  Empty except for a few Chinese fishermen and another couple with a kid.  I took Pam’s picture with the girls.  I can’t remember if it ever came out.  We smelled the salt and listened to the girls giggle at the birds, a sound like popcorn or champagne bubbles.  There’s not much to do out on a pier, but you can spend a long time there.  Finally we turned around and headed back, passing the other couple.  The woman tall, blond, holding a girl against her hip.  The man, shorter, rounded, with a nose like Saint Nick.  Pam stopped short.  “I know you,” she said to him.

“Yeah, ok.  Hi,” he said, good-naturedly, or not.

“Did we go to high school together?” she asked.  He gave a little laugh.  “No really,” she begged.

The couple smiled and walked farther down the pier.  We continued on our way.  “I can’t remember where I know him from,” she thought aloud.

“Are you joking, Pam?”

“What do you mean?”

“That was Billy Joel.”

“Did he go to Stuyvesant?”

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