Many years ago I stood in the doorway of my new studio apartment, one of my best friends facing me. We stared at each other, wordless, tears streaming down our faces. I didn’t want to close the door, because then it would be real. Her visit to see how I was doing had to end sometime. We inched backward, her toward the elevator and me back into my unfamiliar narrow hallway with its creaking wooden floors.
I don’t remember if we uttered the word “goodbye.” I do remember the clicking shut of the door announcing I was all alone. I put my back to the wall and slid down it, sobbing.
That was a low point in my divorce, of which there were too many low points to recall.
In the past week, I have thought more about my divorce than I have in the past decade.
Any divorced person will tell you that one of the surprises is the friends you lose. I lost so many friends, people I knew would be by my side when we were old and gray and sitting on a bench, watching the youngsters stroll by.
But they left. They felt they had no choice but to choose, so they did. The blessing of hindsight is that I understand they suffered, too. They lost, too.
So that is where I am today, thinking of the extinguished friendships and fractured families after the election. I watched two men in their 60’s, dear friends since high school, end their 50 year friendship, on Facebook, in a hail of ‘eff you’s!!!!!!!.’
Last week, each of these people felt they had to choose, so they did. The outcome of their choice makes me think of the wildfires burning in our state. You’re either scorched earth or the odd tree somehow spared and still standing.
On Election Day, I urged us to remember that no matter who won, we’d still be stuck with each other, here.
I guess I was shouting into the wind. I’m among the majority still unfollowing friends and relatives on Facebook whose post-election spewing rivals Mount St. Helens.
In the midst of this, my divorce reared up — reminding me of all those lost friendships. The flip side of that crap coin is that everything I lost made space for the next remarkable chapter of my life.
I lost. Then I won. I was down. Then up.
There’s a reason people say, ‘Ride the wave.’ Right now half of America is riding it and the other half is swallowing water in the undertow.
I’m urging us, the downs and the ups, to consider a move, to a great and welcoming place known as In Between.
If you haven’t heard, In Between is a place free of gloating and wallowing and chastising and name calling and accusing and blaming and finger pointing and Monday morning quarterbacking.
In Between is filled with shoulder shrugs and shared smiles and knowing looks and sighs and wiped away tears and whispered prayers of thanks and hope.
In Between is a place where everyone admits they don’t know.
In Between works well in life, especially if you use it on Facebook, or better yet, face to face.
And most of all, (gloaters and wallowers take note), In Between exists to remind us — wherever we are, it won’t last.