CALL ME SOMETIME
7 August 2003
I went to Curves again yesterday. Oh, I wasn't there to work out. All of the machines
there involve either pushing or pulling something against resistance, or doing something
that involves deep bending of the knees. I can't do either.
When I first had my accident, Dr. G wrote me an order to be off exercise until August,
and they had reactivated my account. I needed to have them de-activate it again. I made it
effective until I get home from Australia, figuring that surely by then I'll be able to
work the machines again (and if I'm not, I'll be in serious trouble!)
I hadn't been in the exercise room since June and was surprised when the woman at the
desk knew me by name instantly. (I'm embarrassed to say that I never knew HER name!)
Someone else who knew me was someone I knew quite well. It was a friend of mine, whom
I'll call "Shirley" who gave a squeal and hopped off of her machine and came
over to give me a big hug.
"It's been a long time!" she said.
"Over a year," I said.
In fact it's pushing two years since I last saw her, which is kind of sad given that at
one time we were quite close and she lives about a mile from our house.
There are people in this world who work at keeping a friendship alive. They return
phone calls, occasionally actually instigate contact. They answer e-mail. They keep dates.
Alas, Shirley has done none of this.
I tried for a long time...a very long time. Years. I'd call occasionally, I'd invite
her to go places, I'd suggest we get together for lunch or something. She would
occasionally make a date, and then something would come up when she couldn't come. Or I'd
pick her up but she had umpty-ump things to do before she left, and we'd invariably be
late for whatever it was that I had invited her to, which made me definitely feel I came
second to just about everything else. I would send e-mail that was never answered.
Eventually I just gave up.
This makes me very sad because, as I said, there was a time when we were very close. We
were part of a close group which went out regularly to dinner or to a movie. The group
began to fall apart when one person moved out of town and then another one had health
problems. That left Shirley, Martha and myself. We kept the tradition alive for a long
time, frequently getting together at one home or another, sharing secrets, supporting each
other in our life's journeys.
Then Martha moved out of state as well and it left only Shirley and myself. She was
going through some personal problems as well at the time, which is one reason why I
continued to keep trying to keep our friendship alive. I was/am genuinely concerned about
the struggles she was undergoing and about the twists and turns her life was taking.
But I finally realized that I was beating my head against a brick wall and I just gave
up. So it's been nearly two years since I've attempted to contact her (I know that because
the last attempt was Christmas 2 years ago. I didn't get so much as a card in response.)
Today it was as if the slate has been wiped clean. She was effusive, affectionate,
genuinely thrilled to see me. But she was also in the middle of her workout and couldn't
stop, and I was on my way to the supermarket.
"I'll call you," she said, as I started to leave.