Friends came all the way from North Carolina to make a stop at our house for the night, en route to a wedding in Queens. They gave us a gift, queer fridge magnets, words—apropos, as words are how we met—these queens, fairies, strong women and family now to be strung into meditative sentences while I wait for coffee to finish brewing.
Black skin, white skin, gay and straight, cancer journeys, who shows up and who shuns and who brings a meal and who prepares a toast, who sees that going out of their way is the way itself. Friendship, with so many faces, has a way of soothing and softening edges, as solid as land and as soluble as water held only for a moment in my small, cupped hands.
A meeting over last wills with the father of my children, weaving new names and old hearts into legalese, should I predecease him or he me, sitting by the window in a coffee shop with the sun streaming in through glass, the strangeness of familiarity mixing with a chest-rush of memory, unwritten instructions to trust my life and follow the faith that this heart is enough to sustain me.
Sitting at a table with a girl on the brink of adulthood in a visiting room, where she taught us a new game of cards and ate the spicy sandwich we brought her, and I looked out the window three floors above the parking lot, glad she is alive and sad she cannot live in the world with us, watching my love’s eyes, the part in the corners that runs deep, that I find so lovely, and that she later told me nobody has ever noticed before.
How could I not notice this that is right in front of me, so close there was a glint of God light speaking to me in a whisper, the whisper I lean on with all the invisible weight of me the world doesn’t see, less pushing against and more releasing, the day done and it’s late now, nearly midnight after a bowl of ice cream in bed that she says I look cute eating three, or eight, bites to her one, hearing the hint of a voice I rely on most that I can only say belongs to something holy, that says: I am here to keep you on track.
Why is it so hard, I ask her, to stay on track? Then I answer my own question–because we are human. And that is the gift–I know this suddenly–rather than seeing it as an obstacle. To stay tuned to that voice, the one I hear and the one she feels, the one we both know, is love itself, old and new, neither and both. Simple, just not always easy.
And so I slept and woke again today, to a broom and a cup, magnets on the door, mosquitoes outside and piles of dust on the floor, a work day to focus me and a face with a name, all of the words and all of the moments that led me here, and not one of them wrong.