Monday, May 16, 2011
How It Might Have Happened
We might have celebrated M.'s graduation together, Mr. Ex and I--flanking her as proud parents, smiling into someone's camera, shaking hands and accepting congratulations. We didn't.
And it was fabulous.
We had a party before the ceremony. A party I let unfold with its own casual style. It began with dirty dishes in the sink and the man who loves me washed them. It began where will we put this, and where will we set that, and do we have enough plates? People drove or flew for hours to join us, and then climbed up three flights of stairs. Old people, and pregnant people, and children. There was beautiful food and mimosas served from a dusty buffet, and everyone was happy to be there. Thirty-some people toasting and sighing with the relief and joy and sweet sadness of a milestone passed, and I just had to let it all spin out of my control into its own loveliness.
I thought of Mr. Ex a bit. What was he doing while the loveliness unfolded? Room service breakfast in front of the TV? Attending to his Blackberry? Talking to the Little Missus who did not come? I couldn't hold an image of him in my head. There didn't seem to be room there on the third floor looking onto the unfurling tree tops, passing happy faces in the hallway, jockeying with a cup of coffee from conversation to conversation.
And then at the ceremony, I thought surely Fate would have us stumbling into one another. A doorway. A hallway. In the photo zone with our cameras as our daughter snared her diploma. I saw a man I thought might be him--but it wasn't.