Merryl’s surname sounds like a producer, that’s cause she is, that’s why I’m not going to mention it here. She’s not conventional beautiful but she dazzles in her own, unique, lovely way. She refers to “the accident” every so often, so I lean in to hear more details when she decides to bring it up again. A collision that left her immobile for months. I can’t imagine what that must feel like; especially for a woman who’s day job is to jet set coast to coast like those birds that flock together to chase their seasonal cycle. I wonder if it’s like being told one day, that you’re handicapped from the legs down when you’re a professional athlete. Or like being told your vocal chords need to be cut and you’re a world-renowned opera singer. Is it humbling? Or a punishment?
Regardless, this morning, ten minutes ago, Merryl has fallen and enters with a face consumed by immeasurable rage. The type of rage that has the power to set an entire continent ablaze. As if something out of her control, a rarity, something she knows nothing about (not having control), plucks her up by the nape of the neck, like a kitten in her mother’s clutch, being unwilling escorted from experience to experience. And yet, she looks innocent and helpless like a child. Delicate. Beautiful. And my inclination is to help.
When she talks to me, she buttons (either front and back) her sentences with my name. Not being a fan of that kind of reference, something in me allows it to exist. Relinquishing my ego for the betterment of hers. “Oh, Liza, I just need to get this over with.” I wouldn’t do this under any other circumstances to Merryl, but I reach over and cradle her arm with mine. She takes it, like from a friend. And so we’re off – two people, distant realities, two separate views from the same wondrous window – it’s a short walk down the hall. I suddenly feel like I want to savor each slow, purposely delicate step.
So we do.
The silence being another warm friend cradling her other arm.