Been having a lotta interactions lately. Probably because it’s May. Some have been funny…
Him: I wanted to make sure you were still alive.
Me: It’s still early in the month.
…some just amusing…
Me: (holding out hand) My name’s Logan.
Her: (taking it) Malaga.
Me: Like the city in Spain? You know, I gave a lecture there years ago.
Me: I know, I’m as surprised as you are.
…some less so:
PT: I think about her a lot.
Me: Well, that makes two of us.
Alison’s really amazing physical therapist came by for the first time in almost over two years. She used to come here two-to-three days a week to try and help Alison – and refused to take any money for it.
We caught up and she saw the boy again for the first time in ages; he wasn’t speaking and had just started crawling the last time she saw him.
Her: He’s adorable! (later) I’m so glad we did this.
Me: Me too. I would have written you sooner but…(trails off)
Her: (gently) I know.
Me: I’d like to see you again, if I could. When you’re free.
Her: (nodding) I’d like that.
Actually, I communicated with a number of people that I’ve not spoken to in a while.
Her: How are you?
Me: (slight laugh) Probably exactly as you’d imagine.
Her: (later) I wanted to mention that my ex and I moved in together.
Me: That’s great. I always just wanted you to be happy.
Her: (pause) Why didn’t you ever let me meet him? Your son…
Me: (sighing) Alison told me once that, when you have a kid, and you see someone love that kid, you can’t help but fall in love with them. We were both in a weird…
Her: (interrupting) But the Gymgirl met him.
Me: Yes. She did. I set her apart.
Her: Before or after she met him? And did she set you apart?
Speaking of the Gymgirl, the boy asked about her every single day up until a few days ago. I’m not sure which of the two bothered me more.
And a dear friend took my breath away…
Her: The toughest thing for me is that the joy of my daughter’s birth is shadowed by my brother’s death. Every year she celebrates is a reminder that he’s gone for that long too. My mom took down almost every picture of him. It’s just too painful to see them right now.
Me: Yes. Someone, who lost his wife also told me that memories are like trying to hug a porcupine; you want to but it hurts too much to do it.
…while another friend took my breath away for different yet similar reasons.
Me: I was hoping I could avoid your fate. But Oedipus, and the Moirai, and alla that ____.
Her: You’re the only man I know that can bring up obscure Greek mythology and expletives in the same breath.
Me: I’m special like that. (later) I think about what you said alla time.
Her: But that’s me, Logan. You’re not me. (thinking) You should come visit.
Me: Maybe. I’m not the same person you knew. I’m not sure I can be or want to be.
Her: None of us are the same people we were. Everyone grows and changes, for better or worse.
Me: (laughing) That’s where you’re wrong. New York is fulla people who never grow up or change.
Her: (laughs) And that’s why I had to leave.
Finally, my old boss from decades ago contacted me too. Someone called him about his mom, who died, and he felt compelled to contact me.
Him: It was great to talk to her, but it was tough to get off the phone and be in tears. I thought you’d understand better than most.
Me: I actually signed off FB messenger because I was getting so many messages from people that meant well but didn’t really get it. Death is something no one truly understands until they experience it firsthand.
It’s funny. I wanna be alone alla time but I value these interactions – and rando bits of kindness – more than you might imagine.