We used to live on Columbia Ave when the traffic light blinked green all through the night, not even stopping while we were at work. But when we drove by tonight we saw the change as the yellow glow came on and off to signal the nearby fire house.
We walked hand in hand as she turned once but did not notice. It was when she turned again that her face froze and she tried to search for recognition for the missing piece that was me.
She judged me as I shared what I learned almost ten years ago and saw that I was different. Of course so was she. The long hair and goopy mascara didn’t throw me off, it was the warmth that once consumed her character, the fluid motions in dance class.
Dance. She always had the ballerina poise. But it ate through her as she stated that she pulled a muscle and danced no longer. Pause. Silence. I knew it could be more, but it was hard to place especially after so much time passed. Anorexia? Bulemia? Her frame never as fragile as I remember. And was the man she walked with and introduced us to her boyfriend? It was too personal a question to ask. Too intrusive for the girl who wore no shoes as she drove me to and from our classes.
She said I looked fantastic, but was she secretly thinking that I was fat?
I was an English major too, she said. But I felt the disappointment behind her words. That she worked in financial services. That she was surprised I got married.
To the past I say. To the past.
I was brought to tears by what I heard. I can never keep dry when you speak. The words don’t even have to be powerful; it’s you who has the lifeline. It’s you who is seeking help without even asking for it.