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You were my friend in every sense of the word for such a long time. I knew you when you were as you are now, only not as deeply literate. But wise! Wise for a thirteen-year-old girl. Wisdom is sorrow, my love, and no one bore it–or bears it–as well as you.

And I was so in love with you. I still am, because you have a lush palazzo on a hill in my heart. And for a time I could revel in that unashamed. But the weird thing about me is that love becomes so serious to me. And love becomes no-fun to me or to anyone else when that clicks into place. And I was so in love with you. And still am.

(If you knew her, you’d be too.)

Along with that comes unworthiness. Where you want to be with someone, and believe that your uniqueness and theirs combined can withstand anything in the world, only to find out they’ve withstood so much and prevailed that the most you could add would be, what? An off-color joke here? Stupid flowers there? Spiritual abstractions everywhere? Twenty years of in-jokes? This is not “poor pitiful me.” Fuck that.

I guess it’s a way of explaining why it’s been so long since we’ve talked. And doing so in a way that avoids the vapor-lock I go through in any emotionally wrought conversation. I am a writer after all, and though I can speak extemporaneously my brain freezes me out in heavy emotional situations. It’s quite unnerving, actually.

So here it is. Here you are. But remember, 36 (almost 37) is only as tough as you let it be. 30 was a bitch, though fun at the time. I was certain I wouldn’t make 36, and almost didn’t. 39? I gave myself a special present for my 39th birthday: The gift of clarity. Don’t ask for details, because I’m not happy about some of them, but pleased as punch about some others.

One Comment

  1. I know her only by her words – and I love her too.

    If I could have had a daughter, I’d have chosen her.

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