I’m better than I was three days ago and I’m pretty sure it is because I spent time with people. It’s been weeks since I was social.
While watching basketball at a nearby kids league, I saw my neighbors Anne and Cullen. I ran into Kristen and Mike. I saw kids from Fernway – Joe, another Joe and Will. I talked with Kate and Katie. I saw Baccha, who gave me a big hug and, when Sheridan saw me in the stands, she flashed a quick wave before setting an awesome pick.
Later at the Sweeney’s house, I lingered more than I planned, just catching up. Just letting the wave of words and company flow over me. Honestly, I did not really know about nor care for the topic but I just kept listening. It was like water over wet feet at the ocean, like sun shining on a dry crop. Comforting.
This morning I went to church and got a quick hug from Lisa, who let me know that she had been reading and paying attention. Ten seconds, that’s all. A transfer of energy. Lois’ sermon reminded me to anchor myself to the transfiguration of God in the faces of people I know and the interactions I have. And Shannon’s prayer was a rallying cry to place yourself in the long line of people who have come before you. She was speaking of the heroes and artists, the kings and the warriors, the poets and innovators of Black history. I thought, in a parallel way, about all of the tomboys and nerds, the odd girls out who let me be here, who I am.
Then to Soho for brunch with Susan. Lots of talk, lots of people. A rally of conversation, almost like practicing for me who has been silent too long. It takes courage for me to simply speak again.
In the afternoon, I had an exchange with a woman I dated about eight years ago, someone who has not reached out in years.
Connection tattooed the whole weekend, reacquainting myself to the web of humanity.
The best moment was early Saturday morning when Pam and I met for coffee. We don’t see each other often but, when we do, we ask important questions: God, family, light, where our energy is placed. Near the end of the rich conversation, she said, “Love life?” but I did not hear the question in the two words; I heard it like a exclamation. Love life. I turned my chin, crinkled my eyes. Nodded.
Pam waited, then turned her head a titch. Then it struck me, she was asking about my dating life not telling me to reattach to my good fortune. We talked for a bit, but the exchange has not left me. How a question mark sets me down a completely different path. How the lilt of the phrase changes its meaning.
Love life? I’m trying. Love life. Yes, that is what we are meant to do.
Thank you friends for being there this weekend. Thanks for showing me your two missing teeth, talking with me about the death penalty. Thanks for saying you see me. Thanks for the hummus, the bite of hanger steak. Thanks for the eye contact, the weight of your hug around my body. Thank you for telling me about your new windows, your writing group, the way you took care of your taxes. All of this was just what I needed.