There would be a photo of a girl kissing a boy goodbye in a snowstorm – It doesn’t seem to matter how many times we part ways, it kills me every time he goes. Jared left for home this weekend on a very important and incredible mission – to attend and play at his first CD release. It only slightly mitigated the extreme sadness I had as I watched his bus pull away for the third Christmas in a row now, with no foreseeable end in sight. But knowing that he was going to do something so incredible, to have tangible in his hands the hard work and love and passion that he puts into the universe – it was worth seeing the taillights disappear one more time.
There would be a photo of three women, the last of us here for Christmas, laughing hysterically over chinese and red wine – There is nobody left but those without family, those with jobs, those with nowhere else to go. Last night three of us, the last three of us in a wide circle with intangible, loose, or no connections at all, met for chinese. We talked about our lives, our loves, our laughter and each other for hours, picking at food and at memories with tentative fingers and easy smiles.
There would be a photo of a girl in a chair, and in tears – She handed me a Kleenex, lamenting the stress of the holiday season, at the fact I’d soon be alone in my home at the holidays again, if even for a while. She leaned back, with all the wisdom of her position and asked if it was possible that being alone wasn’t just a state of being with nobody. That lonely could be a sad and frightening truth of being with somebody.
There would be a photo of a storm – A storm that totally blanketed my house, my loaned car, the roads, and for a while, all sound. A storm that lulled me into sleep after fits of anxiety, of listening for errant sounds, of wondering about locked doors and ridiculous scenarios brought about by watching 3 episodes of Criminal Minds in an empty house. When will I learn?
There would be a photo of beat up black flats and a worn hardwood floor – There was so much work this weekend. At some point I was so confused as to why I was so tired – then I realized I’d slept 7 hours in the past three days. But the work was accompanied by the stunning realization that I love being a waitress. I love the dark wood, the hard floors, the booths, the beer, the cook who puts aside salads with no croutons for me to eat on the run, the bartender who knows I can get my own beer, the regulars who are easy to love and hard to cut off, the feeling of exhaustion and happiness as I slide into a chair at the end of the night to cash out. It is not saving the world. But it is saving my sanity.