Monday, October 22, 2007

All There Is

So this is how it happened, Thursday afternoon.

We got caught unprepared in a small rain shower, ducked under a tree, leaned against a large rock and watched the black-socked tourists go by.

My phone rang.

It was a Tallahassee number I didn't recognize, so, because I wasn't really available to talk, I let it go to voicemail.

I showed her my phone, and she agreed it wasn't a cellphone number.

We shrugged together, and waited to see if there would be voice mail.

Beep. The front of the phone lit up.

I flipped it open, turned on the speakerphone, and we both leaned in to hear.

It was Becky.

The radiologist would like me to come back.

Please call.

I frowned at my companion.

I thought I was completely out of the woods when they didn't call back Tuesday, the very next day.

OK, when they didn't call on Wednesday, I only thought about it a little.

By Thursday morning, I wasn't thinking about it every second of every minute.

And now?

NOW they call?

The day before the presentation?

Before Halloween Horror Night?

Before Epcot Food and Wine Fest?

Fine. Whatever.

I called Becky right back.

This is Dr. Soldani, I just got your voice mail.

Hi! Good. How about tomorrow at 2:30?

No. I'm out of town.

Monday at.... 10:15am?

No, I can't cancel class. It's World War 2....

How about Tuesday....

I cut her off. I'm only available from 3:00-4:45. That's it. That's all I can do.

OK,. (I hear click, click, some whispering) October 31, 4:05pm.

That's fine. That's perfect. Thank you.

I look at my friend.

What did they say? Why do they want you to come back?

I didn't ask.

I held my hand out to confirm that the rain had stopped.

Are you going to cry?

Me? Cry? No. But I'm going to feel this. For just a few minutes I'm going to let it go completely through me.

She stood still.

It was clear I didn't want a hug, a pat, any sort of silly pep talk.

After a few deep breathes, I lead us out from under the tree.

This is all we have. Today, here, this. Now. This is all there is.

She nodded.

And it's pretty damn great isn't it?

We continued meandering around tourists, stepping over puddles, laughing at nothing in particular.