She turned 30 a couple of months before we met. I turned 50 a few months before that. Consequently, ours was a lopsided friendship, kind of like riding a bike with a flat tire. She said things like, “I don’t want something to just get me through the night,” and I said things like, “I worry about coming on too strong.” Neither of us needed to worry: We were frozen, beyond the reach of fire.
Each morning I stop, with a sock and shoe on one foot, before I move on to the other, to remember, and say a silent prayer to the goddess of love. I ask her for forgiveness, and for relief of suffering – inflicted and endured – but mostly I ask for the warmth and illumination that only she can provide.
I will not know until I reach the end if there is a judgment to be passed and a reckoning to confront but, if there is, I will find some comfort in the fact that my greatest sins were the ones I did not commit. I know there are few penalties left that I need to fear. And I know that the people waiting for me on the other side of the mountain have laughter in their hearts.