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Much like the title of one of my favorite books ... Rebecca.   —   The Social Experience

I didn't know how much I'd missed her until I saw her at the airport. Despite her long flight she was in good spirits and genuinely happy to see me, a positive attitude that was like a breath of fresh air. We haven't exactly been in much contact over the last two years so I wasn't sure how it would all play out. There was a time when we were like sisters, then there was a time when we could barely relate, despite it all our reunion felt seamless, like the blood between us was as sweet as fine wine. There was only three days together but we made the most of it, through bad weather and sleepless nights we pushed on, not wasting a moment on a bad attitude or defeat. We began each day with freshly ground coffee and a tasty brunch. Day one: we spent a day shopping downtown, got caught in a thunder storm while walking across the Hawthorne bridge, ate out at a nice Italian restaurant and spent the evening playing a Dexter drinking game with some local friends. Day two: we walked to a nearby park, talked of plants and dogs and her upcoming trip to Italy, shopped on Belmont, made fajitas and homemade brownies, watched old black & white movies and drank copious amounts of wine. Day three: we spent the day at the zoo in the pouring rain then afterward dried out in front of a fire with a warm lunch and glass of wine. The final departure trip to the airport was soon to follow.

It was strange to be around someone who knows me so well. For the last two years I've been in "getting to know me" mode with everyone. I didn't know how exhausting that can be until I have someone here who is literally finishing my sentences, cuddling up to me on the couch like family, scolding my naughty cats without consent, helping me clean, and cooking me meals. Her departure was like a small death to me, leaving me here once again without intimate familiarity, a loneliness which is measured not in days but in moments. Something people who have never traveled "far from the nest" can't relate to but to us vagabonds it's a quality as rare as gemstones and gold. But I've always been a loner, my independent nature and self confidence has coupled me mostly with male friends so the lack of female bonds is nothing new to me. Nonetheless I am always stricken by how deeply the loss of a woman companion can cut me, as though I have been abandoned by the most sacred of unions, of which I have never in my life even fully belonged. That same night I fell asleep with two male cats and one husband all vying for my space and affection. To say that I am alone or unloved is a gross misrepresentation, but there is a very real part of me that remains in solitude, that "sisterhood" portion of me that has rarely been tapped, understood, or accepted. But what's more, I generally don't understand women at all ... they are all so unlike what I understand myself to be. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and I ... I think I'm from Pluto. It's a very small population indeed.

Posted 5.7.2009 1:09:06 AM

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