Monday, April 12, 2010

Reeling In The Years

"Hey, it's great to see you," I said as she stepped off the elevator.

"It's great to see you too," W. replied.

We stood for a quick moment, awkwardly, unsure whether to hug or shake hands. It had been fifteen years or more since we'd seen each other. We shook hands.

"Show me around," she said and I did, a quick tour of my office.

"Where do you want to go for lunch?"

"Anywhere's fine," she said.

"Chinese?"

"Perfect."

We walked to my car.

"Pull a muscle?" I asked.

"Mmm," she said, limping a bit.

W. was my boss a long time ago, at a big company, an MBA who was being groomed for a race to the top. Smart, driven, and a lovely person. After I left the company we stayed in touch until we didn't.

"I'm glad you found me," I said at lunch.

"The internet's a wonderful thing," she said.

We talked about our families, our children. We'd both had toddlers when we'd last seen each other. Now we're scouting colleges.

"You're looking for a job?" I finally asked.

"I got one yesterday," she said.

"That's great. Congratulations. What are you going to be doing?"

"I'll be an analyst," she said. "For the company we used to work for. Doing pretty much what I did when we worked together. That's me, clawing my way down the corporate ladder."

"Are you happy?"

"Yes," she said. "I am."

"You like the job?"

"It's fine," she said. "I like spending time with my husband, my kids. My son skis, you know, he's very good. I hope he goes to my alma mater. I loved it there."

"Family's important," I said.

"It is," she said. "I worked really hard for a while. Then I had kids, and then I found out I had MS, and then I couldn't work as much."

"Oh, Christ," I said. "I'm sorry."

"So it goes," she said, shrugging.

"Vonnegut," I said, and she smiled.

We talked some more, about our families, and friends we used to share until time peeled them away.

Back at my office, I parked and offered my arm as she stepped over a curb.

She shook her head. "I like to pretend I'm independent," she said.

"It's been great to see you," I said.

"You too," she said.

We hugged.

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

Life happens...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

While you're making other plans...
~

Von said...

A very touching post.

Kathleen said...

lovely life snippet

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

friends we used to share until time peeled them away.

Really nice turn of phrase. I fully expect Brando to steal that.