The Six of Us

Sometimes I experience something called Post-Publish Regret. Ah, well, these things happen.

I’m trying to go easier on myself. I rested this morning. Just lay back in bed with a book, when my alarm went off. Found I couldn’t concentrate, and picked up my pencil instead.

There are five people on the planet for which (for whom?) I feel unconditional love. I don’t tell them very often — that they could rob me blind and I wouldn’t love them an ounce less — but I assume they know.

We don’t talk about our feelings very much. We golf, we ski, we play tennis, we sail, we lift, we hike, we run, we walk.

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We bird watch, while we do all of the above. (We’re an odd bunch.)

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Mostly, though, we eat. We love good food — all of us.

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The kitchen is a common denominator. We hunt through cupboards like they’re still our own, elect someone to go out for what’s not there. We cook, we grill, we bake. There’s always a lot of noise. A truly staggering amount of dishes. At least one car pulling into the drive a little late.

We catch up while we eat. Toe the line when we tease each other (everyone knows which buttons to press). We descend on any leftovers, we promise “borrowed” Tupperware containers are all off to good homes, we expertly avoid The Extended Goodbye.

We come together and then quickly retreat, each to our separate spaces. We’re funny like that — close but not close. I think we must each like our time alone.

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It’s as if we can only handle so much, when it’s the six of us. Engineers and introverts. We’re infinitely better one on one. It’s very strange. We’re really rather intensely private, as a group. We tiptoe.

But we cut out newspaper clippings and drop them in the mail, when we remember. We send postcards, emails, texts. We save phone calls for dire emergencies, but in those cases, we don’t hesitate to call.

We come when called, no questions asked. We help each other move. We remind each other about birthdays, holidays, Important Days.

We consult about cover letters, car problems, track workouts, airline prices, gifts for significant others. We gripe about how expensive everything is, from food and rent to furniture and insurance.

We have shared memories. So many of them. This is the sound that horses make.

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We know the secrets. The big ones and the little ones. They know, for instance, that I hardly ever salt my pasta water (oops), and that I like iceberg lettuce (there goes all of my credibility). They know that I’m terrible at sitting at the beach, and that for three years I thought I had a SERIOUS sweating problem. They know all kinds of things, and I know all kinds of things about them.

I know that we’re connected — that we’ll always be connected — in ways we probably won’t ever talk about. I know that the same things are making us laugh (or, you know, not-laugh), no matter how scattered as we are. I know that we’ll probably always be in and out of touch — I know that’s just our kind of normal. And I think having a normal is nice. As abnormal as it may be.

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2 thoughts on “The Six of Us

  1. loved this so! we are six too, and sometimes i think one of the best feelings is noticing how you feel their presence as you go about your days, since it is so intertwined with your own — despite how far they might be.

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