By JB Starre
I squinted as the setting sun crept from behind a grove of trees into the open. In the orange-tinged light your face looked younger, the creases soft and faint. You were smiling as you told a joke, and though I’ve forgotten the punchline I remember the way you raised your eyebrows as you said it, a challenge almost, daring me not to laugh.
This was your way. Always joking.
You had no hair left at this point, and though the sun must have hurt your eyes and your sensitive skin, you never complained, saying only that it was a beautiful day outside, dammit, and you’d see the beach if it killed you, haha, another joke, because you were already dying.
So we strolled, and we laughed, and for a few hours we were able to forget, to pretend all was as it should be on your thirtieth birthday.