The Uphill Slide

There is always something.



I said I never would; she said she never could.

Never say never. The word you live to eat. Never use absolutes.

I sat in Panera on Saturday eating a bagel while young revelers stood just inside a parking garage across the street; a gang of them. High school or maybe a little older. A mother with a young daughter sitting at the next table said, “It’s the parents’ fault. My parents would never have allowed me to come downtown alone for the parade.” I felt sheepish. I was probably the other parent she was talking about. I trusted my daughter when I should have been suspicious. She hung out a lot with kids that did well in school and would go on to college. She was at a Christmas party in her junior year; there was drinking and charges against a couple of girls, charges that got reduced by parents. I should have started to worry. That mother sitting beside me in Panera said to her daughter, “You will never act like that.”

Well, my friend who said she couldn’t will divorce. And I who said I never would will too. I want it. I forced myself to deliver the news with a churning stomach and an awful feeling of dread. Those were feelings once reserved for others. It should never have been like this. I didn’t get the marriage I wanted nor the divorce I would have desired. I never wanted this.

I worry about my never-could friend. Her friends tell her to stay strong, hang in there. Her soon to be ex-husband is manipulative; he knows her well. Don’t cave; stay strong. He’s gambling. Don’t give him the winning hand. How odd that only months ago we sat at lunch with no preview of what life would bring to both of us. We never saw it coming; we should have.

I will never say never again. Yes I will.


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