The Gun Show

She arrived at my apartment building Monday around 11am, all set to move the last of what I’d be putting in storage. I told her what boxes to move and where to move them. The boxes weren’t very light, and some of the items were awkward to carry, but she shifted them around with ease, like one of those Mensa puzzles, except for the very strong. When she flexes her biceps, I get scared.

I pretty much just sat around and watched.

Her help cut the time to about a third of what it would have taken if I did the job by myself. I wonder if I could contract her to other parts of the country whenever I need help moving.

She came to Becky’s apartment one evening at the beginning of this year. This is my first memory of interacting with her. I didn’t know much about her, except that she was friends with someone whom I was just getting to know, but I instantly liked her, and I knew I’d be seeing her more; making a new friend. She said as she left that night that it was good meeting me, and that I made her laugh.

She was there later that winter, the night of our church singles speed dating activity, when I decided, in a deli/bakery on the Upper East Side, to spill my feelings and experience about my biological father. She offered to hug me, but I declined and told her a hug would only make me cry. I think I was surprised or scared at how much trust I was giving. I definitely was amazed at how attentive and sympathetic those girls were.

It was fun listening to her sing a song she’d written for a friend’s birthday.

It was an honor to take part in a secret birthday scheme for her.

We went to Wicked once. It was the day I lost my job, and a friend won two tickets at the lottery and gave one of them to me. I knew of her personality and passion and pure and refined talent, and I knew I’d get to know more, and it was nice to have someone nearby while Elphaba and Glenda distracted me that night.

We also went running in Central Park. We got tired after a mile or so, then we wandered through the Ramble and some lady who’d already passed us twice gave us a thumbs up as she passed us again, then we sprinted the last 100 yards and a couple of guys complimented us on our strong finish. We high-fived each other’s awesomeness.

She translated a week’s worth of scripture lesson plans for Girls Camp into Spanish for me. It was probably in world-record time.

She’s quick to serve.

She has a strong sense of justice.

She’s always offering hugs, and she’s generous with her time. It has meant a lot to me.

She sometimes makes jokes that takes a while for people to get.

She’s righteous, but she can also drop it like it’s hot.

She’s all over the place. She’s perfect that way.

If she weren’t training for a marathon and didn’t know how to box, maybe I could kick her butt. Maybe.

Also? Jazz. This girl is a wonder on the trumpet. You don’t even know.

Get her started on politics or capitalism or international affairs.

Ask her about the man she loves.

I said goodbye to her this morning. I hugged her with all the gratitude and love in my heart. I took her friendship, her listening, her loyalty and dedication to goodness, her humor, everything that is beautiful and true about her with the hugs she gave me. Hugs I could not decline.

So what if I cry?

A little discussion.

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