Ever since Mark was a teen, he’s had an unusual hobby. When he was feeling stressed or annoyed with life, he would go to a nearby park and watch the birds fly. He wasn’t a bird watcher in the technical sense. He did not care if it was robin or a cardinal, but he enjoyed watching them fly into the air. It made him feel like he was free, and that he could do anything with his life. He felt his hobby was quite strange, so aside from a few trustworthy people, nobody knew about his passion for flying feathered creatures.
After his recent conversations with Tony and Liz, Mark has been feeling that he needs something to re-generate him. Alcohol only makes him more tired lately, so he decides to go to the park to watch the birds fly. As his eyes follow the flight a of a red tailed bird, he notices a woman with brown hair and a pink tank top jogging by. Although he has not seen her in a few years, he recognizes her immediately, and before he even stops to think, he yells “Dani”. The woman stops, stares at him, and slowly a smile of recognition spreads across her face.
“Mark, is that really you?” she asks him, as she walks towards the bench he is sitting on.
“It’s really me,” he answers her, while thinking how unbelievably good his former high school girlfriend looks.
“How have you been?” she asks.
“Okay, Liz and I are getting a divorcee.” As soon as those words leave his mouth he regrets them. There is a lot going on in his life aside from Liz. He had just gotten promoted at work, his brother is living with him, and he saw an awesome movie last night. He does not understand why the fact that Liz no longer wants to share his bed defines his life.
“I heard,” Dani tells him with a sympathetic smile. He wonders who had told her, and then decides it doesn’t really matter. “I’m not actually divorcing yet. I mean we both want to, but we are staying together for financial reasons at the moment. Together on paper I mean.”
He wishes he could glue his mouth shut. He doesn’t understand why is he telling this woman, who is barely his acquaintance now, the deep dark intricacies of his life. However, it does feel good to finally tell someone about his situation without having to justify it.
“Divorces are hard, I know,” she tells him reassuringly. “Bobby and I got a divorce last year. It was pretty amiable, well as amiable as divorces can be. Between me and you though, I still want to punch him. But the thing that non divorced people don’t understand, is how hard divorce is, how unnatural it is.
“Exactly! How are you supposed to go from talking to a person every day, to completely ignoring their existence.”
“It’s also hard feeling like your making a good decision, when you can still remember the vows you said to each other on your wedding day.”
“Or the fun you had on your honeymoon.”
“You know, Bobby and I never went on a honeymoon. Maybe that’s why the marriage didn’t last.”
“Liz and I went on a lavish honeymoon. We weren’t able to make the marriage work either.”
Dani stands silently, and Mark feels slightly uncomfortable. He realizes they don’t have much to say to each other. He ‘s about to steer the conversation to small talk by asking about the weather, but Dani, who must have also felt they had nothing to talk about, doesn’t give him a chance.
“It was really great running into you Mark,” she says. “But, I have to meet someone soon, and I need to finish my run. Maybe we’ll run into each other again.” She smiles at him, waves, and starts to jog away. He looks at her perfect body running farther and farther away from him, and he wonders how he ever let such a pretty and understanding woman get away. Then Mark remembers that Dani dumped him for the same reasons Liz wants a divorce . He sighs, and begins to stare at the sky again looking for flying birds.