Then, Now, Always

June 11th, 2014

nikki diane 70s

Next week, old friends will come to SC for their annual visit with me. Diane, her husband Bill and I have been laughing, drinking wine and cooking together since the ’70s. My hair is no longer red, but Diane’s is still wild and unruly. When I first knew them, I was a person who danced in fountains and they hadn’t yet started their family. Much has changed but now our friendship. When I stay with them in DC, it’s been winter or fall lately. There’s a fire going, neighborhood friends for dinner, a museum maybe, buying fresh pasta at the Eastern Market, taking a brutally cold walk in the city, wine at 5. When they come to SC, it’s mostly summer or fall, and we adjust for the season. Diane and I going to Starbucks to write together, golf for Bill, planning the next meal, sitting on the beach all afternoon, exchanging book lists, doing the NYT crossword puzzle and solving weighty existential problems. Our agenda might contain important items like:

-What is my purpose in life?

-Should I go gray?

-What’s for dinner?

Next week, Diane, Bill and I will go down to the ocean again, same beach each time, and heal in the sun. We’ll wonder what it means to be our age. We’ll suffer over family tragedies and celebrate small victories. We’ll once again partake of that holy communion of wine, feasting and friendship. Lovers long gone, faithful companions, friends in common, family lore, flaws forgiven, vacations shared, snapshots from the past and breaking bread will be the unwritten, taken-for-granted record of our lives together over the years. And then we’ll pack up our chairs and head home in the waning light. Wine at 5. Illuminated moments of ordinary extraordinariness.

2 Responses to “Then, Now, Always”

  1. Diane says:

    Oh my god, Nikki! I could barely get through reading this to Bill because I started crying early on and ended up sobbing as I came to the end. I am so touched . . . and so grateful for all these shared decades. I could not have put into words the sweetness of this long-time, mostly long-distance connection. You have painted a rich picture of our times together; it’s such a gift to have this list of those moments. Thanks for capturing them. Thank you most of all for being/staying in my life over the past 40 years and for sharing “that holy communion of wine, feasting and friendship.” We’re lucky. (Except for some unresolved hair issues!)

  2. claire says:

    i love diane! so happy you 3 will ponder it all together.

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