I find myself ever-increasingly blown away by the power of the weird tapestry that’s woven us all into its warp. I didn’t make it to my high school reunion last weekend. Nor did I attend my college reunion last fall. Both would have been fascinating, but I was preoccupied with my health. I know, where are my priorities?
But one of the side effects of reunions and frightening diseases is people tend to reconnect with you. That and chicken dinners. There have been some long ago friends that have resurfaced, at least for a while. And I’ve gotten closer still with friends that have been there all along. When a best buddy’s brother died, I got a huge hug and was told simply, “I’m glad you’re still around.”
“Me too,” I told him.
A couple guys I went to kindergarten with checked in. One I hadn’t known since the 70s, the other loaned me money after college so I could hitchhike around Ireland and we’ve talked on and off since, with perhaps years in between separating our conversations. I don’t exactly know how all of it happens but there’s always a new or old friend knocking on my electronic door. Often it’s exactly when I need to hear something important or say something profound… or so I think.
My incredibly non-jealous wife smiles when former crushes, mine or theirs, say hi. Yes, they’ve all been female. But I had been estranged, for lack of a more creative word, from a guy who seemed both twisted and braided to me, like my alter ego. We got back together when things were dire last summer. He’s visited and sent me insane messages that made me laugh like we were kids again. He even tried to get me down to the Caribbean on an all-expenses-paid trip. Who says cancer’s all bad?
I’ve been lucky, due to the latest reunion round, to chat with some of the people I hung out with in high school. They were the type who were more on the side — in classes, maybe a party or two. It’s been amazing. Whether it’s the wine impresario, now in St. Louis, who I missed many opportunities with in high school, or the always good and kind bandmate who still lives back in the ‘hood, I have benefitted from our threads overlapping once again in life’s rich tapestry.
Then last night and today, via the internet’s weave, I bumped into a casual friend from the horizon who’d been hurting for years. A lost partner and enough bad news to last a lifetime gave her the ability to reach out and offer me the opportunity to give back a thread to the loom that ever plaits.
“Hopefully,” I said to her, “you can find other experiences and people who pull you towards them magnetically, until the realization that we’re all interconnected smacks you in the face.”
I get. I give. Back and forth we all interlace.