Can I see with second sight?
Can I really shine the light on?
In my dreams it turns out right.
Steve always told people that he and Richard met in a dream. People would laugh or dismiss the notion and Richard would give the group a small, unreadable smile--unreadable only because it could be read so many ways. And then they’d ask Richard where he and Steve met--because wasn’t it so odd those two had found each other in the first place?--and Richard’s smile would grow a bit (and maybe he’d laugh here, depending on the group, he’d laugh a soft, warm laugh) before he would say, “It was the grocery store, wasn’t it Steve?”
Steve would groan and hold his head in his hands. “No, Richard--”
“We were in the dairy isle! You were buying mozzarella cheese.”
The rest of the party then would ask--“Is that really how you to met? What a strange way for two people to become friends.” Although, they mused to themselves, Richard and Steve really made an odd set to begin with.
Steve, although refined in his looks, was rather loose minded and, on top of that, a talker. He said whatever he was thinking and it was nearly impossible to get him to shut up. If you got him to finally stop talking, he might just start singing. His mouth wasn’t that much of a problem, not unless he had something important in his head. He had to say it, he couldn’t keep it to himself. That was when it became very much a problem. People wouldn’t let him get too close because of this, they didn’t want their life to be an open book, and Steve seemed like the sort of fellow who would open books and not be able to close them. But Steve was endlessly fascinated by people. He needed to be around people, he needed to talk to them, he needed to know them. He needed to not be shut off from other people--a day by himself was a day that would drive him completely bonkers.
And then there was Richard, with a soft nose and a soft face and soft voice. He never said more than he needed to (unless he was with only one other person, a person he trusted). All of his words were precise, calculated. Not that he couldn't be loud and boisterous, but those moments were reserved. They were reserved for the right place, for the right people. People regarded him like he was wise, like he knew what he was doing (and most of the time he did). He didn’t seem to know many people, not like Steve did, but he didn’t seem to want to get to know many people either. It wasn’t that he was unpleasant company to be with, he just didn’t appear to need people to feel fulfilled. Or maybe he just didn’t know how to get close to people.
Maybe that was it, people thought. Steve was always trying to get close to people and Richard didn’t know how to. And the two opposites attracted. Maybe that was how they became friends.
Richard said, “Steve was buying mozzarella cheese. I asked him if he was making a pizza.”
The rest of the party couldn’t imagine Richard saying that to a complete stranger, and Steve let out a frustrated noise when he said that. “No you didn’t! You asked me--well.” He stopped. “You asked me if I was making a pizza first, yes...”
“And then you invited me over for pizza,” Richard said, a tiny smile on his face, a twinkle in his eye.
“It went down something like that, yes,” Steve admitted kind of reluctantly. “But not exactly!”
“Mozzarella cheese,” Richard said softly. “What a silly thing to bring two people together.” And Steve would roll his eyes and say, “That’s not why we became friends, you goof.” And he’d try to say more, but the rest of the party, satisfied with Richard’s answer, would change the subject.
“That’s not how we met,” Steve would grumble under his breath to Richard. “It wasn’t mozzarella cheese that brought us together.”
Richard would just smile, keeping his eyes on the others, looking fully engaged in their conversation, and whisper to Steve, “I know.”