After nearly three years sitting side by side, my co-worker left – walked out the door with a box in her hand. She tried to make it all normal – “Ok, bye, see ya.” But then she kissed me on the cheek and we both teared up – she turned – and she left.
Two weeks ago I went to the home of a yoga friend – a woman nearly two decades younger who had become a trusted confidante. We scooped gossip, exchanged poses, shared marriage tales, and traded health updates. I stood in her nearly empty apartment; computer cords, unearthed DVDs, still needed screwdrivers and hammers, a balled up tshirt littered the floor. It was the detritus of the end. We stood in the echoey space and talked, hoping that we could have many more talks. And then I left.
Next month, two dear friends and their son will shove off for England. They decided to resettle there after years of considering life abroad. Once they came to that decision , it happened quickly. When I heard the news, I wanted to gasp a bit indidnantly at my friend: “I thought we’d have one more year together! “And then I heard myself. I thought of the current topsy-turviness of their lives – treasures sold at yard sales or taped away in boxes. They don’t know who they’ll see for their next dental check-up or where they’ll be buying cereal four months from now. Some days this sounds exciting – others terrifying. Either way, they’ll leave.
An old friend who I haven’t talked to in months called last night from California and we talked for an hour. Another friend called today from New York – she’s on her way to Peru. Tonight I hung out with a woman I’ve known for years through my daughter’s school but have barely (ever?) spoken with alone. We talked for nearly two hours.
She left. She walks in. Close, open. Goodbye, hello. A narrowing and then an opening, the path is never clear but always holds ripe possibility.