It's an odd thing, being without someone. I've been getting ready for this separation for three years...and especially for the last eight months...but now it's happened, I still feel lonely and rudderless.
Sandy and I were close. Imagine something dreadful happens to you - or something amazingly wonderful. Who do you call first? I would call Gwen, Mum, and Sandy.
It was more than help in trouble: more than filling a need. It was a safe place for us both to go. It was a comfortable silence, a cosy blanket, the Food Network on and the remote within reach. Scone day: I know her tea should be milky and hot, she knows my coffee is black and strong. Her favourite Devon cream, in the little glass jar, is $4.49. $3.99 on sale, and I'd buy two and bring them over. I'm closer to the grocery store than she is. I made the lemon curd and she made the strawberry jam.
She likes it when I bring my knitting.
I like the way she says "thinger" when she can't remember the name of something. "Hand me that keychain thinger."
She likes that I recognise all her literary allusions. "I feel like Mrs. Kirk."
We understand each other.
We understood each other.
But my friend is gone.
I visited the place where we last met.
Nothing was changed, the gardens were well-tended,
The fountains sprayed their usual steady jet;
There was no sign that anything had ended
And nothing to instruct me to forget.
The thoughtless birds that shook out of the trees,
Singing an ecstasy I could not share,
Played cunning in my thoughts. Surely in these
Pleasures there could not be a pain to bear
Or any discord shake the level breeze.
It was because the place was just the same
That made your absence seem a savage force,
For under all the gentleness there came
An earthquake tremor: Fountain, birds and grass
Were shaken by my thinking of your name.
- Elizabeth Jennings