Wanderings through life, landscapes, and occasional loopiness. So pull up a log and have a bit of a sit-down ’round the virtual campfire.


I’ve been thinking a lot this week about time. Specifically, how you spend it, how it moves, and where it goes. There’s too much of it on occasion and on others, there’s never enough. Especially when it comes to the people you care about in your life. On Tuesday, I lost someone who meant something special. It’s a long story and not one I feel like sharing. For context, suffice it to say that she was preparing to battle aggressive cancer. Monday night she emailed me to tell me about the meeting with the surgeons. It wasn’t a good meeting. Nor was the rest of her day, which involved other things that added shit to the sack. In that email, I got the sense she was pulling away from me and I didn’t understand why. I emailed her back and told her we needed to talk–which means I would have called and done all the talking or we would have IM’ed because she had lost her voice to an infection and the cancer. That in the space of 2 weeks. She responded and agreed, but said she was in a very bad place and very frustrated and she asked if we could IM the next day. And I said yes.

Wait a little.

Just a little more time.

We’ll IM tomorrow. In the evening.

Tomorrow came. She didn’t make it through the morning.

Cancer is a strange thing. It can wrap itself around parts of you and slowly strangle the parts it attacks so you linger for weeks and months, wondering if the treatment’s working, the surgeries, chemo, and radiation as toxic as the enemy it fights. And if you make it through that, if your immune system and you will survive the cancer and the cure, then you spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder, trying to live every day like a gift in a shadow. Or cancer can build up, hiding, maybe giving little clues about its presence. But not too many. Maybe not enough to make you suspicious. Until it comes roaring down the tracks and derails your body within days. That’s what happened here.

Time. I want more time. I want to turn the clock back. “I need to talk to you tonight. Not tomorrow. Tonight. Please.” I think she might have been amenable to that. Maybe. But I respected her wish that I wait. I respected her need to process whatever had happened, and not intrude on that. And I lost time.

How do we measure lives? How do we measure what someone means, the connections we make, and the things we share with others? My friend and I hadn’t known each other long. But sometimes, you meet someone who really speaks to you on levels maybe others don’t and you, in turn, speak to them on similar levels. A mutual friend says that it’s like the essences of us all vibrate, like molecules, in response to other molecules–they find their matches in certain people and that expresses in a bond. Some bonds move through your inner canyons like a river. Other times, a bond is just a light, teasing touch that gives you a thrill for a while. And still others, it’s a flash flood or a long, slow comfortable fit like your favorite pair of trousers. I don’t pretend to understand the forces that bring people together, whether for lifetimes or sometimes. Nor do I campaign for things like reincarnation or other dimensions, though I wonder. All I know is that I’ve met people throughout my life who on occasion speak to me on deep levels, who feel eminently familiar in that initial meeting, who I recognize somehow, and who recognize me. Sort of an “I know you. How have you been? Let’s talk.” And we do.

I want more time.

I want more, as I battle unease, still wondering why it seemed she was pushing me away that last night. I’m trying now to derive what comfort I can from knowing that she said yes, she wanted to talk. Tomorrow, she said. We’ll talk tomorrow. She needed time. For processing, for thinking, for working through whatever else happened that day. And I wanted to give her that time. So I did.

I want that time back.

Capricious, time. I have plenty now. Way too much for thinking and wondering and going over her last day, and the days before that, and the weeks, trying to find some kind of logic to connection, something that makes sense, something I can hang a hat on.

Tomorrow, she said. We’ll talk tomorrow.

And tomorrow came.


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