We greet one another with warehouses of love, the doors bursting open and spilling everything everywhere until we’re too mixed up to be individuals anymore. We laugh as we try to tell the stories that every one of us has heard already. We compare diets and recipes and supplements. I gush over my mother’s new Christmas decor; a “design rebirth,” and she smiles warmly enough to melt a whole bag of marshmallows. I tell my father about the book on Islam I’m reading, and he’s electrified with intellectual energy.
I’m not crying alone listening to Tracy Chapman or buying lentil bean pasta or selling another vintage dress for a New Year’s party I’m not invited to. I’m here, moving back to the middle, listening to a church lady say I’ve never looked so much like my mother. I’m separated from myself, the kind of separation that makes you more like yourself than you’ve ever been.
We’re playing Red Rover where everyone’s sent and everyone’s received and we’re laughing too hard to play the game anyway and what were we going to do and we’re late and let’s call and cancel and let’s just stay in and let’s light a fire and let’s talk about when we’ll see each other again and let’s make sure it’s sooner than last time –