Recently, I caught up with a very old friend who I haven’t spoke to in well over a decade. Thank you, Facebook! Our boyfriends of the time were best friends, and we would all hang out once in a while. What was interesting was talking with her (aside from her being cool) but also realizing how much we had in parallel at that juncture of our lives, and neither of us had any idea about our similarities. Remember, our main connection was who we were dating.
The other interesting thing was to find out that she has stayed in touch, sort of, with my old boyfriend…and to find out after all these years what has happened to him. He has big health issues, and has been getting multiple surgeries to manage them, and he’s only in his early 40s, just like me.
Years and years went by of talking with people, and everything was just the “same old” thing, but now, in my 40s, people I hung out with in high school are dying and getting surgeries. People I dated, and otherwise. For some reason, Pink Floyd’s song Your Possible Pasts got stuck in my head, chiefly for the title. It just got me to thinking though, I’ve been so lucky. Pretty much every possible past I had was a pretty awful one.
When I was a teenager, I hitchhiked across America, which is a story for a different blog post altogether. The salient point here is that for a time, I traveled around with two other girls who were my same age. Both girls returned home a few months before I did, but headed back out on the road a short time later. One girl was eventually abducted and abused horribly, resulting in long term rehab therapy (she had to relearn to walk) and had sustained substantial brain damage. My other friend never could settle down again. She had a child, but abandoned him repeatedly to head back out on the road. How is it that I was in the lucky 33%?
My possible pasts. As a librarian, I loathe to give you any spoilers, so I won’t tell you what book it is (unless you email me, then I will), but once I read a book that had a parent and child one of the worst scenarios I can possibly imagine. At the end of the book, as the parent is breathing their [ha ha! Being tricky by not naming the gender here, so as to not set a spoiler trail] last, they say “we’ve always been lucky, haven’t we?” That line was so haunting to me, and it’s kind of a touchstone line I have for myself. I’ve always been lucky too. Not in the obvious ways, but in the grand scheme of things, what luck.
I hope you are all lucky too, in all the right ways.