I saw a woman I’m friendly with at the neighborhood Ralphs’.
“How are you”
“Fine,” she ended our conversation and each of us went on our way.
She’s not fine. ‘Okay’ is but a momentary state of her current existence. I know. I don’t know if she knows I know.
She was widowed recently – after only a decade with a man she clearly adored – a gentleman who adored her just as obviously.
I want to live in a world where people don’t die on each other. Where we don’t have to bury husbands, lovers, friends – pets. I want to live in a world where I can offer more than my prayers. Where I have salves to ease suffering – that is if suffering must exist at all.
I want to live in a world where Chardonnay is calorie free. Where words flow freer than wine from my mind to the page. I want these flowing words, like their calorie free Chardonnay counterpart to be buttery and oaky. Luscious, indulgent – and free of carbs and calories. I want people to respect the combination of Skittles – which should also be non-caloric– and Rosé as gourmet. I want to live in the world Strawberry Shortcake tried to sell my kindergarten-age daughter. I want the rainbows. The friendships that can always be mended. Obstacles that will always be overcome – with friends. I want the unicorns. I want it all.
But in the mean time I’ll live here. Here where I can write. Where I can pray. Reach out. Where I can send emails, “I know that you’re not fine but figured a quick ‘hello’ in the grocery store was not the place to discuss this. I am so sorry for your loss. It just sucks.” I’ll draft what I hope are words of comfort. I’ll keep those who I know are grieving in my prayers. I’ll email widows I see in the grocery store. Because it is something. Because it’s all I know how to do. For now.