Among friends

The evening progressed, as evenings do, with laughter and with conversation.  I sat mostly in silence, feeling something that I did not recognize.  At one point, I closed my eyes.  I sent a tender, careful probe to the corners of my mind.  When I opened my eyes, I had my answer:    Welcome.  I felt welcome.

I’ve sat at many tables.  I had in fact sat in the very restaurant at which we dined, several times, with people who smiled in my direction.    Still the feeling of being wanted rarely rises in my breast.  I unfurled it, wrapped it around my shoulders.  I waved it over the plates, with their half-eaten meals and their forks set askew.  No one so much as blinked.  The merriment continued.  I didn’t even garner a casual curious look.

A few hours later, the gathering adjourned to someone’s house.  Turkish coffee got handed round.  Stories flowed.  We played a funny video which made me laugh so hard that I hid behind  my hands.  My stomach ached.  Still later, in the dark of my empty house, a smile lingered on my face until I drifted into dreams.

Today, I will bid goodbye to a chapter of my life.  I expected to awaken with a sense of sorrow.  Instead, I stood at the back door watching the old dog lumber down the stairs, smiling again, waiting for the kettle to boil.  Turning back to the room, I regarded the piles of baking dishes in the drain basket without my usual reluctance to confront my chores.  Nothing could overwhelm me today.  I’ll get myself ready, and take myself to the End of An Era:  A Closing Reception.  I’ll mix the cider and set out the cookies which I spent all day yesterday baking.  I’ll hug each person who enters.  When the last note shimmers in the air as Jake and Angela pack their instruments; when the last person slips back into the chill of winter; I’ll still wear this silly grin.  I took it home, from last night’s dinner among friends.  I consider it a worthy souvenir.

It’s the nineteenth day of the forty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.


3 thoughts on “Among friends

  1. Cindy Cieplik

    “Your heart and my heart are very old friends.” How beautiful! I sense your JOY in this blog.
    So very happy for you old friend…..

  2. Pat Reynolds

    I certainly hope you have always felt wanted whenever we went out. I always cherish the limited times we were able to get together and hope that they can continue once you settle in out west.

    I also am so happy that you are finally following your own dreams in your beautiful new home!

    1. CC

      Pat — One on one has never been an issue for me in a general sense. As for you in particular, I have always felt not only welcomed by you, but cherished.


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