Over Christmas I got an out-of-the-blue email from someone I rarely hear from and have little in common with however he and I have one of those bonds that cannot be explained and will never be broken. You see, we knew and loved the same person. A woman whose crystal heart broke early on, leaving her to unsuccessfully limp through life trying to avoid emotional landmines.
I met her in the brief moment of innocence allotted her and we bonded over Tolkien and all things Middle Earth. When he met her it was too late, but at first he suited her needs like a Tums would the winner of a hot dog eating contest. However, gradually she realized you cannot go from a great albeit deadly passion to warm milk and cookies.
Anyway, that was forever ago. It was a friendly email and, following up, I heard the events of his life, the good and the bad. The bad – his dog had died after fourteen years, three months and six days. But he quickly countered that he’d made sure she led the ideal dog’s life.
The good, a new human companion. No grand passion evidently but someone who keeps his life calm and on an even keel. For someone who’s spent his entire life in a quaint Victorian on Forest Lane that’s akin to nirvana.
He told me other things too. His step-daughter and her husband bought the old Cain place down by the river after God finally came for Mrs. Cain and she rode to Heaven in His golden chariot to take her place amidst the saints. (I’m damning my self to Hell for that statement). Ironically the girl will be back where she began, under that picture of Jesus Christ with his heart in his hands. I wonder if she knows. I wonder if her mother told her. Bragged about fornication in the bedroom of the Lord’s most fervent crusader.
I heard on the news the Truckee is cresting, filling those houses off Mayberry with frigid water. All those crucifixes, angel candles and pictures of the saints floating down towards the casinos. Perhaps its for the best.
My old friend also wrote that he didn’t expect to see the “kids” often even though they were only “minutes” away. Maybe they think he didn’t do enough to save their mother or maybe they just don’t like another woman living in the house where they grew up. Who knows. He seemed slightly offended, saying they might as well have moved to “Brazil.” Perhaps he’ll get another dog.
The email got me thinking about time and relationships. If you’d asked me thirty years ago which friendships would survive time and which would float out to sea, I would have been dead wrong. It’s like couples going through a divorce who constantly say “that is not the woman I married.” None of us are who we were. Sometimes our best traits prevail but even a crystal heart can shatter. And when it does, glass flies everywhere and sticks in your heart and never leaves.