Forever, today

“Forever.” The woman in the street called me “Forever,” proving everything you have ever been or done, or been known as, is still alive. Be careful, girls and boys.

photo 1

She said “Forever” and I turned like an old dog hearing its puppy name. No one has called me “Forever” in more than 30 years. The decade before that everyone did, except my family in Iowa who called me “Patti” and a few others I had abandoned years earlier.

She was probably aided to identify me by my clothes. My wrinkled white linen Eileen Fisher pants and shirt do resemble yogi clothes. (That’s not a typo. Yogi, not yoga.)

But I was wearing sunglasses and walking a large black poodle in a neighborhood that would have a fit-conniption if someone tried to live here in a cabin, yurt, lean-to, or tent, all of which I have lived in – plus a van, once parked outside her house for several days 35 years ago.

She nailed me at 8 feet and had the wisdom to follow immediately with her name. Otherwise, I would have been in that “my, she looks familiar, but from where” limbo.

photo 3Point is not that I lived in a religious commune in NY state and then a valley in Tennessee among musicians and craftspeople for a decade but that . . . what is the point?

I think it is not that people keep track, but that people share histories for instances or years, and those memories are alive in Now.

She and I both long ago divorced our husbands of that time, but we didn’t discuss them. Why bother? My ex-husband, a faux mini-guru, became violent and was a jerk. Her ex-husband tried to fraud me by paying back a loan from me to my divorced husband. That makes him a jerk too. The two of them grew cannabis somewhere in Virginia. For the record, I had nothing to do with it, though I saw the field once. Impressive. Tall plants loving the sun. What happened to the plants after I saw them, I have no idea. I swear.

So the point is, I think, that life is sort of like sour dough bread, the starter contains elements from the beginning of sour dough bread. Stuff continues through time and re-emerges, like, ah,”Forever.”

I may be walking a dog, she may be in my neighborhood to park her car before lunch with a friend. We could have passed each other. Surely we pass people every day who . . . six degrees of separation and all that.

I last saw my ex-husband in a banana grove during a visit to Maui 21-22 years ago. He was looking thin. I’ve heard nothing since. I don’t know if he is dead or alive. His family is all gone, there is no one to ask.

Nor do I know anything about her husband.

Perhaps she and I will meet for lunch, but no reminiscing. They were jerks. It all comes around. I think I want her to continue calling me “Forever.” It has something about it.


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