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We agreed to meet at a Middle Eastern restaurant in the city’s midtown, a small place where tables are close together, a place where the servers lift a glass water jug that looks like a magic lamp high up over their shoulder to stream water into your glass, a small place where the tabouleh and hummus are only slightly less than perfect.

We hadn’t seen each other, hadn’t talked with one another in years.


She almost looked the same: Same smile. Same red hair. Same hands. Same laugh. Slimmer than before. A shade of serious around her eyes and mouth that wasn’t there before. We jumped in and got caught up. Jobs. Life. Loves. Meaning. There were lots of Me too! We laughed when we discovered we drove the same kind of car and had the same stories about it.

I’d forgotten that her eyes were dark brown. I’d forgotten how easily she flustered and I’d forgotten how easily I teased her about everything and how that made her laugh.

In between bites of food we talked about life and work. She and her husband are planning to leave Canada in a few years. Over coffee we talked about creating a home and a space to escape the mad, mad, wonderful world. In time, the evening came to a natural end and with warm hugs and smiles and promises, we said goodbye.

Later that night, snuggled and cuddled, I fell asleep to images of servers making light and magic with water jugs and laughter. The next morning, I wrote her a note:

It is an understatement to say that it was great to see you and how curious it was — it seems the years melted away over the course of the dinner. Was it really that long ago? What a lovely evening.  Thank you  :-).”

She answered me.

Frances I want us to stay in touch always. I am feeling very melancholy today as a result of our get-together. Most likely hormones :). Have a nice weekend.”

Oh. Well, now. Let’s see.

Hormones. Well, hormones are hormones and sometimes a brain under the influence of those hormones can take a mind to places that it typically doesn’t ever go and once there, unleash feelings and emotions that are generally kept in check, under wraps, harnessed, hidden from view or completely unknown. Sometimes and for some women, such is the power of hormones.

Always. A word that can be applied to physics, thermodynamics,  electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and maybe even blacksmithing, however, it can’t be applied to feelings. It was hard not to raise a Zen eyebrow at such a term.

As it turned out, my weekend was nice and when Monday morning rolled around, I responded to her.

Hormones are odd, pesky things sometimes, aren’t they? I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling melancholy and hope that (a) it’s a bittersweet melancholy as opposed to a sad and sombre melancholy, and (b) that the outcome/direction of it becomes clear for you sooner rather than later.

She wrote back, “More bittersweet and reminiscent, nothing a nice glass of wine won’t cure.”

I didn’t ask what she needed to have cured.


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About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween. On hiatus from writing ... at least for now.
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15 Responses to Bittersweet

  1. This is so well-written! Meeting someone of your younger days after years of separation is such a huge bond…

  2. DD says:

    Note to MS: Can I fantasize about whacking her in the head with my napkin too?? 😉 …

    Dearest FS: You never fail to put a smile on my face and make me ponder over life’s oddities… A beautifully written post. Isn’t it interesting how old relationships sometimes (if only for a few hours) get idealized?…The aura of perfection… the magic of a synchronistic moment… the sense of familiarity… of coming home to your past…
    ((heavy sigh) If only the aura did not lift the next day…

    Have a wonderful day!

    • FS says:

      Dear DD; Thank you :-). So much about life and people and how everything happens or doesn’t happen is interesting. In the meantime, is anyone checking with China for bulk rates for lesbian whacking napkins? (Not that I can condone violence…even keying that word made me shiver, but I do understand the urge …)

  3. kodamae says:

    Wow. Zen eyebrow and linguistics can really do wonders. Lovely, wise and smart post.
    Buona estate! Invece del vino avrei optato per un bel gelato, probabilmente 🙂

  4. I’ve missed reading your words, they make me smile, make me think, inspire me.
    Btw, I know hormones:-)

    • FS says:

      BB: Smiling is a wonderful thing, thinking is greatly and spectacularly underrated and at times, devastatingly overrated, and if anything I key inspires you, I am humbled. As for hormones: oh. my, goddess. A post doth await. 😉

    • FS says:

      Dear Ms. Um….is that good?

      • makingspace1 says:

        Illuminating, let us say. A good reality check to my fantasy dinner with that one. I would NOT want to hear about staying in touch and hormones, and hear a follow-up about it all being cured with a glass of wine. I think I’ll change a fantasy or two now. Heh.

      • FS says:

        Hmmmm.. I dunno. Maybe it’s better to never, ever give up on a good fantasy dinner with ‘that one’, 😉 although it might be prudent to avoid plating it in gold and diamond expectations, assumptions and that whole vision-it-to-make-it-happen thing.

      • makingspace1 says:

        Can I fantasize whacking her on the head with my cloth napkin? Because I’m mature like that.

      • FS says:

        My Dear MS; Can you hear me chuckling..? 🙂 I’ll have to confer with the permission granters; however, it is my understanding that it’s your fantasy and because it’s yours, you can do anything you want with a napkin. That whole maturity thing? Greatly Overrated.

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