July 21st, 2004

The Way We Were

Mike was showing us his Japanese photos last night. They were mostly taken at his leaving parties. There was an album which had been put together by one of his students- and she had taken the trouble to annotate it with witty comments and little tiny hearts and pikachus and things. It just tore me up. Something to do with the fragility of friendship.

Melancholy things- photo albums. People grinning, goofing off and you're never going to see them again.

He also had some old pictures from home that he'd had pinned up on his classroom wall. There was one of him and Joe as tinies, sitting on a bus. Mike had his eyes shut and Joe was flirting with the camera- entirely typical of both of them. I probably took that. Then there was a picture of me in my early thirties, complete with dog-collar and boho beard; the trendy vicar- grinning enthusiastically and full of Jesusy goodness.

Omigod

A stone just bounced off the window. Omigod. Three tiny little boys. Out I storm, looking neither to left nor to right.

Accomplice: It was him (points)

Perpetrator: It was an accident.

But the perpetrator has made the mistake of running straight home so I ring the door bell.

I am choking with fear, rage, whatever, but trying not to show it. Poor woman. She is skinny and grey and has scabs on her face. A drug user? More than likely. She apologizes and thanks me for telling her and says she'll ground the perp. I thank her back. As I walk away I hear her screaming at him and feel sorry for them both.