Upon waking the other morning, I realized I had been dreaming about helping my darling friend Simone pack up her house. I began to wonder if that was symbolic of me having been in denial that she had moved away. Was my subconscious trying to catch up, perhaps wake me up, to the fact that she and I no longer have that same sort of everyday closeness? (Despite the fact that our psychic tendrils still intermingle — just as my former lover and I began to reconnect, I got an email from Simone — she had sensed that we were orbiting again. Which, of course, she was right about.)
Simone moved away in December, right before I left town for about three weeks. And then I came home with a cold and so I was miserably bed-bound for a week more. So I’m thinking that these circumstances facilitated me being in a month of denial about my favorite person in Durham no longer actually being in Durham. I was starting to get better (2.5 weeks later, I’m still working on that one), began to venture out around town the slightest bit (and only then out of necessity — food, water, yoga), and so, ever so slowly, the realization was beginning to creep in. Perhaps this was my subconscious mind’s way of telling me that I have to start facing the fact?
I don’t often experience loneliness. I’m quite content with my own company, amuse myself endlessly (I find myself to be one of the most hilarious people I know and have no qualms admitting that I laugh heartily at my own bad jokes and even just the thoughts that run through my head), and I hardly ever get bored. But there has undoubtedly been a growing sense of loneliness inside me that goes hand-in-hand with missing my best friend.
I wasn’t writing. Not a damn thing. And so the other day I stuffed my purse with tissues (for the cold, people, sheesh! I’m not that emo ;) and headed out to a coffee shop. One that I never go to. One that Simone and I never visited. It seemed safest.
I couldn’t yet bring myself to visit our usual place — the place where we would linger over lattes and laptops for hours several times a week, sometimes working, often times getting no actual writing accomplished. Those days our accomplishments were measured in explorations of the Universe, life, love, spirituality, and always, always, wicked laughter.
Tomorrow I have a coffee date with a friend at one of Simone’s and my back-up cafes. (It’s not our usual place, but surely we spent quite a few hours at this locale.) He suggested it, not me, but I could’ve easily insisted upon a different place. Instead, I accepted. Figured it would be a good way to gently ease into our old haunts (these places that I so deeply associate with Simone — that are, in fact, ingrained with bits and pieces of her). Because I’m invested in treating myself gently — with purposeful loving kindness — through what isn’t (and, inevitably, will continue to not be) an easy time. Such an important practice and lesson to (re)learn continually.