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  • So a friend texted. He had a groupon deal...dinner at a local Indian restaurant. We could save money and eat an adventure. I came. But, I ate alone. I planned to meet him, but failed to communicate my,"Yes, I would love to." I fail a lot in current time. My mind is everywhere, anywhere but with me. Laid off from a seven-plus year job, separate from a thirteen-plus year partner, a father who has progressed in dementia to the space of daily disappearances...not just in mind, but also in body. "How long has he been gone, Mom?" "Has he come home, Mom?" So much absence. So much abscess.

    So tonight, in the Indian restaurant of my friend's choosing, where so much is unfamiliar. But when I look, most is just the same- the same as my life events. The couple in the booth next bench over, argue about money. The man is mad that "homemade cheese and peas" cannot be found on the menu. In my ignorance, I even know enough to believe that they are right there, "the cheese...the peas..." in the other language, the one we do not speak. Two booths over, the college students hold hands across the table, believing fully in "happily ever after." I want to believe, again, someday.

    By day I work as a therapist. By night I live as a mom and secret dreamer. I dream of staying like the college couple, not being lost in the "cheese and peas". I want to hold hands across the table of forever...and not let go.

    Today, earlier, on the phone, I grew weary of my mother, and her inability to accept my father's need for more care...more than she can give. Tonight I enjoy, alone, the food from the other side of earth, and realize, I want what is universal....the hand that will not be mom's hand on dad, like the college student strangers who love across a naive table and the long lost committed -- who disagree with cheese and peas. I want love to span time, and mistake, and memories, and confusing menues.

    Dinner was delicious, even without understanding it.
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