Not Fade Away

On Saturday, his face, his smile, his laugh all filled my mind. I didn’t wonder about it, the approaching anniversary of his departure was a logical trigger, but today he appeared in the street, as if he’d been here all along, instead of moving six states away two years ago.

I paused. Was it a mirage? No. If I imagined it, I would visualize myself with combed hair and better clothes. Unable to fix my appearance, I walked over to say hello.

He looked great, as always, but also happier and more relaxed than when we said goodbye. His prior disposition undoubtedly being partially my fault. He came back this weekend for a wedding, and will be gone tomorrow. I rambled, of course. It can’t be helped in this kind of situation, but I’m pretty sure I avoided saying anything stupid or embarrassing.

Hours later, I’m still reeling. I had important things to do this afternoon, but instead, I went for a swim. Now it’s getting late. I should have dinner, but my mind is distracted, searching for the key that unlocks a different ending for us. I’ve missed him since the day he left, and our three minutes of idle chit chat today only served to remind me.

Two years ago, he gave me a silver pendant on a chain. One side a compass, the other an anchor. Back then, I thought he was the anchor, providing stability in an uncertain situation.      I was the compass. Later, I realized the truth. I remained anchored here while his compass pointed him somewhere else. After six months, I undid the clasp and put it away.

Today, I put the necklace on again, just for a day…or two.

Recognize the Possibilities

Recently, a lot of annoying things have been happening. Not life or death, and not this is going to change my entire existence, but little things that irritate, annoy, frustrate. Things that pile up and weigh me down.

Some are recurring nuisances. For example, our phone line needs to be replaced. It is currently buried underneath a dirt road. Torrential rains cause the road to rut and wash away. Additional rock and dirt are added several times per year, and each time the road is “fixed” our buried land line is disturbed and damaged. Verizon patches the line, and a few weeks later the process is repeated. Frustrating. Except this time, the damaged line somehow self-dialed 911 and three police cars showed up. Annoying. The very next day, my dog encountered a skunk. Then, I discovered inconsistencies in my property tax bill requiring a meeting with the tax assessor. By this point, the aggravation usually feels crushing, but I must have been wearing rose colored glasses this week because every irritation turned into an opportunity.

My displeasure became a sign that something I’d put off was calling me to act.

During the police search, the lead officer suggested I unplug all the phones until the line was repaired, but that telephone line we never use cost $30 per month, and I’d been thinking about disconnecting it for months. Since I had to call Verizon anyway, I exercised my option to cancel the service.

Picking up my stinky dog, carrying her to the bathtub, and scrubbing her clean reminded me that my towel was still wet from my own shower 90 minutes earlier. I looked in the mirror and frowned. Then, I remembered my legs hadn’t been shaved for weeks. I always tell myself I’ll shave next time, but I needed a second shower now, so why not? Thanks to that skunk, I have smooth legs.

I delegated the issues with the tax bill and suddenly all my grievances became achievements. Maybe they stack up together to get my attention? I simply need to recognize the possibility presented when something unexpected occurs rather than judging it negatively.

This morning my back went bad which initially incites panic because my to do list won’t get done, but it’s Sunday, so I’m going to plug in the heating pad and watch football. A well deserved day of rest. Go Team!