12 October 2005

Scattered

The trees are swinging hard today, still plenty of leaves to rustle though they're a mix of yellow, pale green, and speckled brown. The sky is white with subtle grey cloud masses drifting through with sporadic rain.

I was up really late talking to a friend, first on cells, then landlines, and then via computer. All these ways to keep in touch even though we're thousands of miles apart that we hadn't made use of for months. When he mentioned a family illness I knew nothing about, he surmised that we hadn't talked since last year. I was appalled by the idea and guessed last spring. Reconsidering the timeline he described, today I know the last day I talked to him: his birthday in February. I don't have to guess whether or not I remembered to call him, it's just something I would have done.

He had so much news, a lot of it compiling to make this a difficult year. I felt badly that I hadn't called more often.

Being far away, I've found that people expect bigger news when we talk. Little has changed for me in the past year, and I feel like I've let them down when I talk to them. One friend's disappointment I fear so much, I can't bring myself to call her. Not because her disappointment would be some murky fog, rather it would be an aggressive demand for change I don't feel ready for.

Despite my instincts for self-preservation, I still want to know what's going on with them, so I try to check in every few months. Generally that's enough: if you ignore the day to day, not much changes for many people over the course of a few months. But so much had happened to him, and he hadn't called to tell me about any of it. He's a very balanced guy with a lot of people in his life, so I doubt my support was missed; it just reminded me how far away I am. I miss you O.

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