she said, no worries
it’s all good, i responded in response.
then she asked, how can it all be good?
i had an instinct that it all was, almost a premonition about something good. maybe not all of it, but maybe some of it might be good.
i asked her if it might be possible for us to not analyze it too granularly, at least for now.
she said, well i suppose.
i said that it was not my intention to impose my belief system upon anyone, right before I offered my apology.
she said, i know, i know. i know you’re really good about that. I’ve always appreciated that about you.
but I was beginning to get a little uneasy. i thought that maybe if I just kept talking, everything would get smoothed out… and the way we were yesterday would return to how it could be today.
but that’s not really how it works, is it? That’s what I feared she might say, although, of course, she did not.
how is your mother doing? I asked.
her mom is doing great. except for the arthritis. how is your mom doing?
i said my mom was well, except for the arthritis and a knee replacement.
It had been quite some time since either of us had seen our fathers. It seemed like everyone I knew once had a father some time ago.
but still there was something absent. something that was there yesterday, but wasn’t there today.
when she took the cell phone out of her pocket to check the time, i sensed something rather sad and stark.
She said, I should really get going, I have an early morning tomorrow.
It was true. She always had an early morning to wake up to. Yet still, I felt a bit uneasy. It wasn’t quite like rejection, but almost on that precipice… and I felt instant shame for letting my mind wander in that direction.
But I rose above it. I said, what is your day like tomorrow?
She told me about her 8 a.m. class, and a meeting with students, and a grant proposal that was due, and picking up her friend visiting from Philadelphia from the airport.
I had no reason to doubt any of this.
I said, oh, I don’t want to keep you.
she said, and I don’t want you to throw me away.
We said goodnight, pecking each other on each cheek. My cheek first, which was a surprise.
When I returned to my apartment, I ate. First a peach, then yogurt, then some blueberries, a green apple and lastly a banana. Enough fructose to quell an army, to keep me awake for a fortnight. I ate and ate and ate, until I said, enough already.
Because it truly was.