I receive a phone call from Spain. A friend who has leaped into adventures away from reality. I wait for her to ask how I’m doing.
It takes a while and when she asks I say “fine, I suppose.”
What about her?
“Not so good. Well, you know.”
Yes, I know.
Her voice is in the confusion of a low, the sensitivity, the loss of life and I forget her every wrong word, the sorrows done, immediately. She wants to say things like ‘sorry’ but doesn’t know how.
“I woke up today feeling miserable,” she says in a matter-of-fact way. She stumbles over a few meaningless words and then says, “It’s the day of atonement, you see, and I’m thinking of all the things I wasn’t really capable of doing.”
I say, “it’s ok, really,” and I don’t want to say ‘I forgive you’ because it sounds too heavy. Besides, who am I to forgive? I say, “what you did hurt me and I’m happy you called.”
“It’s just… I couldn’t help any of the stray dogs here either.”
“Don’t worry, they forgive you too.”
She is quiet for a moment as the meaning of my words sink in.
“Thank you for this warm conversation.”
Only the thank you sounds real.
I panic for a moment, “truly, it’s ok. It’s ok. Just make sure to go home.”