As I look down at my trash bin, all I see is a Popeye’s carton. Dinner today on my walk home. At this point in my walk, it was almost 3 miles in as I was close to my apartment but still the familiar taste and the implicit badness of fast food fried chicken made sense. It mirrored the false certainty I am pining for.
How long is 12 weeks? It’s just Monday thru Friday with two days in between 12 times. It doesn’t seem long looking back. A blur, really. Of work and weekends. Snow and cold. But it means something since he is not with me. He who had been my constant companion for an endless amount of weeks, almost 364 to be exact.
So what is that picture? That picture is pining for some familiarity in a strange new place. And this is a new place in a very concrete sense and a new place in an emotional sense. A lifetime of togetherness has given way to a period of solitude to contemplate the meaning of us.
Uncertainty creeps in when I no longer recognize his voice on the phone even though it is his number I dialed and when I say Keith, he answers yes. Is 12 weeks enough to not know you anymore? And in those moments of quiet desperation and utter uncertainty, there is a certain comfort in a familiar taste. Not all has changed, doesn’t matter if it’s in Brooklyn and not New Jersey. I had that there and I have it here and it stays the same.
Beating down his door is not an option. He needs space to figure it out and even though I may be farther along this journey than he, I will seek out the familiar (healthier though) and hope in another 12 weeks, I find him again. And he finds me again.