Sunday, January 6, 2008

Two things

It's best not to get caught up in conflict. I just try to acknowledge my part and try to learn from things as they come along. New Year's resolutions are a bit too much for me, but I do hope to keep doing this in 2008.

Also, here's the last part of "Little Girl", the story I read on Pirate Cat Radio yesterday. Bummer that streaming was down -- both my mom and Adam's mom were trying to listen in.

In 2004, two and a half years after we met, I was accepted to graduate school. Finally a triumphant end to a four-year quest. I realized that I could push and push and ultimately get what I wanted. I understood that some things actually do lie within our reach.

Little Girl was gasping her last. She had a broken head gasket, wonky axles, and leaky power steering fluid. People could hear me coming from literally a mile away: click-click-click, wheeeee.

My student loan money came in: Enough to replace Little Girl. Enough to buy me a car that would reliably take me from Point A to Point B.

I emailed Adam. At that point we hadn’t spoken in three weeks. The silence was my decision, not his.

As of this afternoon, Little Girl is sold. I didn’t see the point in keeping two around.

An hour later I got his first response.

Let’s have a moment of silence. She was a good friend.

He was right. She was a good friend. But we need to know when to end things. We need to understand when to stop pulling out the pain like toxic taffy. We have to know when to say enough is enough.

Two hours later, I got another email.

FYI: As of tonight, I am single.

The moments that matter rarely call for your attention. They’re almost always buried in the minutiae of life, the grocery shopping, the checking of email and cellphone messages, the turning of a key to start a car. It’s the moments we’ll discover later, in reflection and in memory, the times we turn over like grit to realize we’ve found gold.

This was not one of those moments. This moment was a cheerleader, a sign-waver, one of those buzzing planes with an advertising banner undulating from its ass.

Two days later, I drove my new-to-me Toyota Corolla to the cafĂ© where we’d agreed to meet. My new car was everything Little Girl was not: practical, undented, a consistent starter and a straight shooter. I knew this car would take me to school and back again. I knew I could trust it to help me move my life in the right direction.

Now it’s three years later. It’s raining outside and I’m writing this story and Adam and I are engaged. There still are no blacks and whites in the world. But my Corolla is parked outside, Little Girl is a memory in a picture on a wall, and I have hope.

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