San Francisco, Aug. 17

I’ve been stewing this past week about something a friend, a long-time friend, said to me. The stewing has me feeling unjust, unreasonable, uncharitable even.

“He’s not my enemy,” she offered simply as we descended the staircase.

“Oh,” I muttered, quickly glancing down to avoid stumbling on the next step, “No, I….I…only meant. Well…okay, sure.”

We’d been standing at the floor-to-ceiling windows, gazing out at one of the newer garishly appointed high-rises in Civic Center, when I mentioned what popped into memory then, almost in passing.

“I think he moved into that building. After,” I gestured toward the window. “But, I wouldn’t really know actually.”

As I turned away and we moved toward the first flight of stairs downward, she offered that she’d recently seen my ex over coffee with a friend of hers. They’re together now, you see. My ex and this friend of hers, as such things tend to go. The world…so small, after all.

“He’s not my enemy.” Her words echoing in my mind.

Was this feeling of unease from her having coffee with him at all, or the implication that I never would again? Had she crossed some undefined battle line? Had I drawn one?


I wish I could have said, “Nor is he mine,” but that realization was still days away as these things tend to go.

What was has been, and there is no more. What else is there to say? The pangs of mutual friendship it turns out.

My school-aged claim upon my friend, whom I’ve known for years before ever meeting him, has me turning territorial in some very unflattering ways. Suddenly, I’m asking myself why she has a continued interest in someone I no longer know when the answer has nothing to do with me.

My ex’s new partner, as it is, has been a friend of hers for some time, perhaps longer than she’s known me; while my pettiness and immature assumptions are, unfortunately, something of a more recent nature.

Mendocino Grove, July 21

Over coffee at the picnic-table in our campsite this morning, J and I discussed The Handmaid’s Tale, which we’ve been avidly watching. He noted, ironically of course, how the show has ruined so many things for him.

“Like what?’ I asked, semi-judgementally.

“These cars for instance- the Mercedes G-wagons they drive. I used to like them.”

“Ah,” I said. “I wonder how Mercedes feels about their branding these days after formerly being known as Kardashian-wagons. What else?”

He sat a moment and sipped his coffee.

“The color teal?” I offered.

A smirk.

“The name Lydia?”

A nod of agreement.

“Rape, perhaps?”

A look of utter shock and disgust.

“Corporal punishment then?”

“And cattle prods,” he added.