I don’t know, yet, quite what I’m doing with this writing. I want to tell her about it, and I can’t; I just want to say the words to her, and hear her patience on the other end of the phone. It used to annoy me when I’d call her, needing to talk, and there would be no substantive response, but that was years ago, and I was both a lot stupider and a lot needier then. Things change.
You’ve gone so far beyond us, she said once, not that long ago, and I caught my breath and felt her sentence tumble into me, hitting rocks on the way down. I’d never thought she felt that way, but it was the explanation for why she felt it difficult to respond in kind. I had left, and done new things, in places unfamiliar and strange, it was true, but I never felt like there was some comparison or judgment to be made: they were living their life and I was living mine. Now her words made me picture her very far away, waving to me, a small form in the far distance, but then I realized that was me looking through her eyes. I’d felt like we were walking side by side; her opinion was valid; I always respected it. I tried to tell her that. It’s not easy, on the phone.