My husband and I are supposed to go out with friends tonight.
The restaurant will be crowded.
We will stand cramped in the doorway for half an hour waiting for a table.
We will be a group of shouting people from start to finish, trying to arch our words across the din and dinner.
Chunky wooden tables surrounded by thick-legged chairs that stall and stutter along the sticky floor will control our bodies and conversation.
The food will be heavy. I will eat enough to weigh me down for a day or two.
I will have snippets of connection with the 2 people closest to me on my tiny island in a sea of sound. The drinks will mix their muddling into the evening about one hour in.
Soon after, the laughter and leaning-in to catch the bouncing chatter around the rectangular table will wear me out. I will begin to stare as if in trance, missing the person’s words on which I am trying to focus.
Later tonight, I will fall into bed, my ears ringing, my mind whirling with everything said.
Why would I want to subject myself to this situation?
I could decline and say, “some other time.”
But I don’t, we won’t. Why not?
Well, because they are our people.
Meeting at a place.
Eating, drinking, relating, connecting.
It’s what we do.
If we didn’t, we’d be dead.
As my husband just said, life is flying by. Life is happening now.
At our age, or maybe any age, it’s almost over all the time.
Some other time is not a given.
So better get busy living.