I saw him some months ago at work, and he looked so tired. So worn and harried I reached out with an email.
You looked so tired. I was thinking of you and hoping you were ok. Wondering about you. This project has been hard on all of us.
There exists over a decade of connection, even if we do not acknowledge it now. Somewhere there is shared memory and laughter. A few skeins of left over wool testify to what once was.
We spun in an orbit called friendship, and then suddenly, with the death of my son, the spinning stopped. It is not that I don’t know where we went wrong, I do not know what else I could have done. I lashed out, to be sure. He was simply not there, perhaps not able to be there. I was so lost in the morass of sudden and tragic death, and he, whom I would have called best friend, was unable to find me.
Those odd times when I darken the door of a church, I think of him during the words of the confession – I confess the things done and left undone. I wish that most painful and impotent of wishes, that things could have just been different.
He is moving with his wife and young family. Leaving Canada, leaving everything and going elsewhere. I found out through a friend, and I call that a small mercy. I heard him telling someone else about the move, as I waited for an elevator. It would have almost killed me to find out that way, a chance overheard conversation on my way back from lunch.
And here I am, wondering and wishing. It is hard to believe that they will pack up, sell up, move away, and I will not know. I picked them up from the airport when they arrived, and now I will not know when they leave.
It is, I think, sometimes like when I buy wool that I think will become a sweater. In the knitting it becomes clear that this wool was never destined to be a sweater and instead it becomes a pair of socks and hat, given to different people, a single thing now divided.
Always, when I see one or the other, there remains only within me, the memory of the sweater.