Archive for January 16, 2011


>How does one do it?

>Today was church and I was there. I always try to be there, I became a little slacker and now am making a concerted effort to go every week. I missed last Wednesday for a combination of reasons. So when I noticed my friend Emilia was having a rough time, other friends crowding around to support her. I wondered what was up. I got a little annoyed since it was obviously something big, like maybe a death in the family, I figured it had been announced Wednesday and no one had bothered to tell me. I racked my brain trying to remember if both her parents were alive, then I figured, oh it couldn’t be one of her family since she’s here, it must be a relative of Wayne, her husband.

After services were over I walked over to see her, everyone was hugging her and as I stood next to another friend who put her arm around me, I still had no clue. But I was the good friend and hugged her and pretended to understand and know, know what?

When Em and I were getting ready to go to the gym, she told me what had happened, “Wayne’s gone.”

Gone. Gone as in just gone. Just packed up his stuff and left Emilia and the church community and everything. They had been married for a while when I met them, over 20 years ago, they must have been married for over 30 years. They were always low key about things like their anniversary and stuff.

How does someone do that? After 30 years just pack up and leave? “Oh its been fun but I really have to go now.” “This has been a nice experiment but I don’t think it’s going to work.” “You’re a really nice person but I just don’t think we’re compatible.” “I really do love you but I don’t think I want to live with you.” After 30 years? I can’t wrap my head around this, I’m pretty sure Emilia can’t either. I mean, I don’t know how she was in private, but she was always super nice to everyone. There never seemed to be any real problems between them. Maybe that was the problem, no conflict, no excitement, maybe he just got to bored to stay.

As I was sitting here thinking about this and thinking about another person who might have lost her home, I realized that I am a horrible person. These people’s lives are falling apart and I’m complaining about my cold toes!

>On a book website that I frequent, I met a woman named Ló, we had the same taste in books and for some reason, became closer then some of the other women on the site. She was living in Brazil and frequently mentioned how hard it was for her to get books. Many times she had to pay more in shipping then the cost of the book. When I finished a book I liked but didn’t think I would re-read it, or just to make room in my crowded space, I would send it to her. She always wanted to know what I wanted back, Postcards I told her. I love postcards. So she sent me postcards from Brazil. I even posted them on this blog, here and here.

A few months back she told me she was moving, she wasn’t happy in Brazil, she and her husband were making plans to move. I was sad that I wasn’t going to be able to chat with her as often as I had been, different time zone and all. Then the week before her planed move her beloved cat died. She was very distressed by this. Yet, she remembered me and asked if I would like her to send some postcards from where she was moving to. Here is one, I got it last week.

Yes, Australia, she moved to Australia because she lived there before and was happy there. I sent her an e-mail telling her I got the cards, and that I loved frogs. She sent a reply apologizing for taking so long. Then no more e-mails, which didn’t concern me, I figured she was busy with moving and settling in and so forth. Meanwhile I watched the floods on the news, in Australia. Then it finally hit me, how close were the floods to my friend Ló? I looked at the postcards:

Queensland, then I googled Australia flooding, Queensland. Shit. I feel like such a jerk now. I am not really thoughtless, just clueless. At least that is what I keep telling myself. My niece says I am extremely self-centered. My niece is a bitch just like her mother. That is being kind.

Now I am worried about not hearing from Ló. It has been 8 days since she e-mailed me. I sincerely hope that the reason she hasn’t e-mailed me is she hasn’t had access to a computer, not anything extremely worse. But I keep thinking maybe she got swept away. I’ll never know if that happened since the only way I have of contacting her is by e-mail.

The self-hate has begun.