New Years

The past, present and future really are thinly veiled.  Sometimes the oddest events can cause two lives to intersect at moments which seem that something divine is at play. Exactly what, I’m not always sure.
Last night my youngest daughter stood in Times Square, for New Year’s Eve, for the first time.  At 23 she is just starting to get her wings and take flight.  At 23, I stood in Times Square, on New Year’s Eve, for the first time.  I was just starting to get my wings and take flight.  That night I met a lovely young man, named Peter Krinsky, from Pennsylvania.   I no longer know Pete, but I don’t live far from where he used to live when I knew him.  When I was 23, the last place I’d thought I’d be living is exactly where I’m living.
Years ago, on New Year’s Day,  I met a man, for coffee, which ended up being tea, in a great coffee house (which probably closed due to lack of customers) in a town which sorely needed a great coffee house.  We spoke about life, scars, trying to heal, writing.  Patience and friendship.   He told me about his wife who died of breast cancer a decade ago and the pain rose in his eyes as did the tears.  Such a gentle soul this man was and I ached for him.  Etched in his face was the desire to be brave and move on, yet etched on his heart were memories which cut deeply.
As we were getting to leave he said, “So you’re a Pisces.  So am I.  When is your birthday?”
I told him it was March 8th;  he looked like someone had knocked into him.  He literally staggered.
I said, “Don’t tell me it’s your birthday too?  Yes?!!  That’s crazy.  What a coincidence!  I’ve only known two other people with my birthday and both were students of mine!”
He looked at me, a bit dazed and confused.  “Really? Your birthday is really March 8th?”
“Yes.  Really.  Isn’t that kind of cool we share a birthday?”
“Well, I don’t really make a big deal about birthdays.  It’s also the day my wife died.”
Oftentimes my life has a circular feel to it, rather than a lineal movement.  That day I saw his past and present rise, like a Tsunami.  I could see the circle of his life, a frenzied whirlpool,  in front of my eyes.
“I do make a big deal about birthdays”, I said.  “I believe the day of a person’s birth should be honored and celebrated.”
But the damage was done; he heard me, still spoke to me, but he was no longer really standing with me outside of the coffee house.  His mind was pulling him into the past where his ghosts, regrets and love of his life resided.

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