So there’s this man who appears to be his 80s who lives in a 1970s era raised ranch about a mile from my house.
His second floor living room window is perpendicular to a three way stop I pass through on my drive to the studio.
Every morning for about a decade during my morning commute, I’d see him sitting in an vintage mid century recliner in the window: reading the newspaper- old school style – in the same threadbare brown bathrobe.
Other times of day I’d see him puttering around the yard. I never saw any visitors; he was always alone.
I wrote a few stories in my head. He was tall; attractive for an old fella. Probably a retired engineer type. Did he have a family somewhere?
Several times a week I thought: I should stop by someday. Bring cookies. Or send him a note…. I see you, mister. How’s life?
I’d dissect my codependency. My assumption of this guy’s loneliness was not mine to fix. But women are conditioned to be fixers; to rescue. This I know so I beat myself up: Why is this even my problem?! I wonder how many middle aged men drive by an older woman’s house and think to do the same? Probably not many.
But still, it wouldn’t hurt to be neighborly. I planned to send a note.
Then, Claire and I were away for 6 weeks. We returned October 28. On October 29, I drove by the raised ranch and saw it emptied out. The window drapes were removed, chair no longer. There were vans in the driveway: Bathfitter and a painter.
Telltale signs of a house flip.
So he was gone. I’ve written a couple of stories in my head: he moved to warmer weather, closer to family. Or downsized. There are sadder stories I’ve created, of course.
I never did send that note.
I think it’s important to do the things you’ve always said you’re going to do: We really only have right now.
As we round the corner into the season that sometimes makes our eyes twitch…. I’m talking to you, Uncle Mike, who, at every Holiday Dinner, announces “we will not use a pronoun at this table, a he is a he and a she is a she”.
… anyway as we enter into the season, myself and the Twist team wish you all the good juju for things that you don’t want to leave unsaid, hugs that you may be reluctant to offer and vulnerabilities that could (might not, but could!) serve you to show before it’s too late.
And the next day after your version of The Dinner? We’ll be here for you at Edmonds and Richmond Beach, the heat will be on and there will be space to roll out your mat, breathe and move for an hour. You can book your class here.