By Friday, I was that special kind of exhausted — that hot and dizzy kind of Too Much Going On tired that didn’t go away with water and clementines, which seemed to be my panacea lately.
I was in the office, and in meetings, and I was meeting D and Rach for lunch. It was hard to believe how long I’d known them now. It had been three years since D had convinced me to come back from Edinburgh over the bank holiday weekend; now N and Rach had a baby — not a baby, a little boy! — and D and I continued to be the unmarried, childless friends.
So much had changed in both New York and in London and still nothing had.
We met, and we ate, and it was lovely. Then Baby Z fussed a bit, and mother and child had to dash a bit early, so D and I stayed and caught up. It was one of those gorgeous springtime Fridays in London where the sun was out, and the trees in Grosvenor Square were green, and even the squat, post-modern, could-only-have-been-hatched-in-a-Cold-War-architect’s-imagination American Embassy was softened around the edges. (Which was true, but is a terrible thing to say, because later that afternoon some building right behind it collapsed and a man was killed).
Then our lunch ended, and we kissed on the cheeks, and we were off into the afternoon.
A little bit after that, I was off to Heathrow for the third time in three days, and then on a plane to Dublin.
(Obviously, I just discovered Instagram.)
Paul and I had a dinner date with one of his best friends and his wife — he was an Irish native, and she was a Californian, as is the case with many of Paul’s friends (strangely enough). She grew up about 15 minutes from where I did.
It was strange, you know, sitting in a restaurant in Dublin with a couple whose experience was similar to ours — both lawyers, both grew up in the places we had. It was so strange that I couldn’t wrap my head around it. It was strange that I could say the words “the 405” or “the 210” or “where the 10, the 210, and the 57 meet” and she would know what I was talking about. I could probably have sung the radio jingles of my youth and she could’ve chimed in. It was weirder still to think that she probably knew what the smog looked like in the ’80s, and the way that the Earthquake felt, and all of those weird, muscle-memory things about Southern California that you want to forget but never do.
But I was too tired for any of that. We just talked in the way that Strangers talked — the same way I would have talked if she were Irish or English or Chinese.
So we talked and laughed and shared food and wine, and I stumbled into bed later than I had expected.
I am happy. Things are lovely. But I am at a strange crossroads. As it turns out, my entire life has been a series of forks — a hideous, unexpected, dusty table laid with cutlery where just when I think I have grasped the right utensil, it is time for another course.