Maybe it’s something in the air tonight.
It’s been snowing all day, small wet dabs of snow that melt into an icy mush on the sidewalk. Whenever it snows, there’s a hush in the city. Traffic sounds further away, quieter, less insistent. Voices are muffled under layers of fake fur, polyester, down. Faces are buried, smudges of eyes hurrying by. The city seems peaceful, but also lonely.
A friend of mine called; he’d been feeling ill and he was relieved I picked up his call. He said that he was “that” close to calling his ex. He’d confided in being tortured about her to me. I wasn’t sure how to respond, but I told him that the one thing to remember, if he could, was that this was a passing phase: the feeling of loss and longing would, in time, fade, or be replaced by some other obsession. I told him to get something nice to eat, to do something nurturing or silly for himself, and to call me if he felt like it. He called after he got something to eat, but I was trying to get some work done, and wasn’t able to help him as much as I’d have liked.
And then it happened to me — that same gnawing loneliness. It happened while I was watching a British crime drama I just found on NetFlix. A man met a woman, he expressed his intense attraction, and a tender romance started blooming. Why can’t life be that simple?
Now I feel like calling my ex, too. But I know how painful it would be to hear about his latest date, his most recent romantic interest. And I know that longing’s temporary, too. Plus, I still have some more work to do before tomorrow.