The Art of Conversation…

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend. It was the Barbie person in my world. She was going to be near the area and she texted me and wanted to know if we could do lunch.

I had to check my schedule and see if it was doable. It was.

Since I was going to be there anyway, I scheduled a doctors appointment before we met. I hadn’t said anything to anyone but my arm has been going numb so I needed to have that checked out.

I finished in plenty of time before we were supposed to meet, I decided to fulfill some promises I had made to co-workers  from my previous job. You know those, come by and see me, promises.

I wasn’t sure why today, when I went but okay, I do what I feel I am supposed to do.

I went in and was promptly greeted with hugs. I spoke to one lady who is retiring in about a year. She told me of her grand children who live in Florida. You could see the sadness in her eyes when she talked about being away from them.

I spoke to one lady who was having the usual trouble with one of her co-workers. She said I have a question for you. The house? I knew which house she was talking about, “The Queen”. I said it is gone. She said I wondered, I hadn’t seen any photos of it in a while.

She had fallen in love with this old house through the photos I had taken of it. Her reply was well at least you have pictures of it.

I spoke to the dry humor, monotone speaking, member of this group of my friends. She told me that the guy who worked at the comic book store who had led her to think he was interested in her was married with two kids. She told me “For twenty years I have been saying that all the good men are married, gay or dead”. She is still sticking with the plan of paying off her bills and joining a nunnery.

Then I went and had lunch with my friend. We had Thai food, bad Thai food. She talked about how she wanted to finish paying off her student loans so she could stay home. She is living with her boyfriend but still doesn’t have a ring and she is already planning to stay home with the children that aren’t here yet. She talked about how her home had been robbed and her dog had to be put down because he had cancer. She told me that she had been to Switzerland. I told her I traveled about 3 counties over barely being in a different state. We talked about life, jobs, love, all the things you talk about when you haven’t seen someone in a while.

After lunch, I went to see a friend who lost her mom to cancer just 3 weeks ago. She is just getting back to work. She is having to answer the where have you been questions. She answered it three times while I was waiting to speak to her.

She talked to me about how all this was effecting her. I totally get that, each time you are asked where you have been you have to relive it. You know people mean well but it still hurts your heart just as badly.

She said she was glad I stopped by because I had lost someone to cancer and she just needed someone to talk to. I understand that, it is different but the same.

Since I was in the area, there were two more friends I needed to see, so I shoot across the county I was in, taking the scenic route of course.

I walk through the door of  a different location. I slip in and when I am seen, my friend stopped what he is doing and runs to hug me, tells me to sit down and finishes what he was doing. We talk and at one point he looks at me and says I envy you. Me??? You envy me?? Why?? Because you took your chance and you look happy and healthy.

The last person I spoke with was my sister in widowhood. She says she looks to me as her inspiration. Not really sure why I am a mess most of the time.

She talked about taking her first vacation. She talked about how for the first year she was left alone but now people are noticing her and even being so bold as to move to her table when she sits down in a restaurant. She asked me how I deal with such things, I told her that wearing clothes from my new job helped keep creepers away.

She eluded to but didn’t say that she has feelings for a friend and doesn’t know what to do about it. I told her in a round about way that it was fine to love again that the guilt was part of it. I felt guilty when I realized that I had feelings for my person. I got over the guilt. I am still alive, in every way, I AM STILL ALIVE.

She told me that there were days now when she didn’t think his name, that too is okay. It is called moving forward with your life. They are always with you but not at the forefront of your mind. They just kind of hang out.

She told me that there was a photo of a pine cone that I took many years ago, when he say it in my first exhibition, he said it was the perfect photo. She asked if I still had it, she would like to purchase it.

As, I said goodbye to my friends and started the drive home, I thought about all the conversations of the day. Maybe I helped them, maybe I didn’t. I just know that there was a great deal of hurt in these people and they needed a safe place to unburden themselves.  They just wanted to be heard and acknowledged. I know how that feels. Maybe they wanted someone to look them in they eyes and say I care.

And maybe, somewhere, some way, along the way, I made a difference for them.

Maybe, someone does miss me…. after all.


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