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January 18, 2014

Things have been hard lately. Nerves raw. Emotions churning right at the surface, exposed for all to see. It’s hard to trace the exact order and timing of All Of The Things. I know I was restless and antsy for change all last spring. I know I was at peace briefly this summer when I thought I knew what that change would be. I know I was cautiously happy when I met you, even as the Big Change fell through and I had to adjust to a different, less dramatic set of changes. I know I was happy while you were happy. I know I became anxious and unsure as you became those things. I know I became depressed in lock step with you, too. I know I share your insomnia. I know you’re more voodoo doll than friend. I know I cried a lot and out of nowhere. I thought that was over. I was, as it now appears, Wrong.

I was sitting in the coffee shop today, the one with the horrible coffee. It was too late for coffee anyway – I just needed to get out of the house, and it’s a nice enough place to drink tea and read. The din of so many conversations under such a high ceiling distracts me from thinking my own thoughts. To sit at the window, alone-but-not-alone, there’s always something to watch on the busy-ish street outside. Acquaintances passing in and out, sharing warm but empty greetings. A little less alone.

I read for hours while you did not call. 

When it came time to leave, I looked at my phone and found an email from a distant friend, an older friend, a friend from a bygone era who still remembers how to write letters, even if they’re now delivered electronically. I read her letter, smiling at her stories of travel and plans for more travel (our shared passion). And then I got to her last sentence, in which she inquired about you. I felt the wave coming, so I packed up quickly and hurried out before the tears could begin. I made it down the short block to the light. As I waited to cross, someone behind me asked “Hey, are you okay?” 

I turned around to see a stranger – a youngish man holding a cup from said coffee shop. He asked again, “Are you alright? I saw you leave with some… emotions.” 

I told him I was fine – that I’d just received an email from a friend that required my attention. Not more than 43% lie. I assured him again that I was fine. He apologized for bothering me.

“No,” I said, “this was really nice of you.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2014 8:36 am

    Mm. This past year I’ve cried where I could. On the road. In the chair that’s used for a bag or coat in the women’s bathroom on campus. In a corridor outside a conference room. Bad news never comes at convenient times and I guess emotions don’t always either. Hugs, lady.

    • January 26, 2014 8:51 am

      They certainly don’t schedule themselves at convenient times, do they? Hugs right back at ya.

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