he was standing in his front yard when I pulled up. his dog was straining on her leash to see me. he says she's never as excited to see anyone as she is me. I'm not convinced that's true, but sweet of him to say.
he gave me a big lingering hug. neither one of us wanting to pull away. it'd been too long since we'd seen each other. I wasn't sure why.
I got the tour. it was his parents house, though they don't live there right now. he grew up there. he was staying in the in-law apartment until the closing on his new place went through. he showed me childhood pictures of him. and of his parents and brother and sister.
we talked for a long time. filled each other in on our lives for the past few months. although we'd talked a couple of times, we hadn't seen each other.
I had wondered why he'd been a little elusive about hanging out. he had thought about telling me why on occasion, but decided he didn't want me to worry.
he'd had a relapse. the cancer came back. he'd been doing chemo.
it is back in remission now. but it will eventually come back. he knows that. and he can only hope that it continues to respond to chemo or whatever medical science has come up with when it does.
I told him I wished he'd told me. he said he wished he had, too.
I felt incredibly close to him in that moment. sitting on his couch just hanging on to each other.
that's all we can do in life. hang on to other people. when we need to.
and hope that when we do need to, there's someone who will let us hang on, if only for a moment.