The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

During my travels down the west coast of the US, seven people were never far from my thoughts. I’ve never met any of them face to face. I’d like to think I know them all well after more than a decade of cyberspace interaction in various forms. Oddly enough, the better I feel I know them, the less I truly know about their real lives.

Some I’ve seen pictures of, and know their names, and have exchanged e-mails and/or addresses and/or I’ve talked to them on the phone. Others, none of the above. I would be passing very close to where these people live, at one time or another, during this journey, and I’d dearly love to meet each and every one of them, but it just wasn’t going to happen for a variety of reasons.

One I knew would be working on the day I was in their area, so I didn’t even reach out, because I’m not one to mess with someone’s livelihood. Others got back to me, but not soon enough for me to alter my plans, or they already had plans, to our mutual disappointment. One I had lost touch with in this COVID era, and it would have been weird to call, wanting to meet, after all this time. Another two don’t seem to feel comfortable meeting me after weekly contact over the course of a decade. Like I’m capable of being anything other than my authentic self and might actually be a serial killer or something. Like I’d hurt a fly. Ouch.

It’s a strange world we live in in these modern times, where we can feel we know people quite intimately and yet not know them at all at the same time.

Regardless of the reasons, and my respect for their various wishes, this journey for me had a slight undercurrent of missed opportunities. It was a disappointing undertone that I did my best to keep to myself so as not to ruin the trip for my spouse. But for each one, when I was in their area, I took a moment to look at all the compass points on the horizon and I thought, “I love you, ______________. I wish you well. I wish we could have crossed paths.”

And for all I know, we did. I passed a lot of people. People that just may have been my good friends, waiting at a stop light during rush hour, or standing in line at a coffee shop. I know I’m a friend worth having, and I know meeting them would have been a meaningful experience. At least I have the comfort of knowing I looked in their general direction at least once. It’s all very bittersweet.

There’s only one thing worse than two ships passing in the night. It’s when both ships know it’s going to happen and yet the sailors never even get a chance wave hello from their mutual poop decks.

Well, poop.

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4 thoughts on “Connections in Neverland

  1. Carole says:

    Lovely.

    Bittersweet for sure. I have several people that I have met, however briefly and also others I have known, for years and years, that I heart pocket carry with me everywhere. At any moment something can generate a feeling or memory, and they are right there with me for the moment. Each incident is enhanced by their presence and I feel their hug and I enjoy the moment doubly. Every time I cross a drawbridge or go through a small town museum YOU are there. So keep those people in your heart pocket, they’ll pop in and out or your life like elusive butterflies and flutter their joy to you.

    1. What a lovely sentiment. Thanks, Carole!

  2. Angiportus Librarysaver says:

    When I think of how random the circumstances were, how it was just luck, that led me to meet the people who became my best friends, it gives me the shivers. Now, I am losing 2 of them to age-related dementia, and don’t know where replacements will appear…

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. And believe me, I know what you mean. I’ve struggled since moving out west. Good new friends are hard to find as you get older.

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