Some places have an aura of sorts. There is a corner in the neighborhood just west of where I live that is like picking up a sleeping baby and resting her on your shoulder. It's a melty place, a soft place.
It doesn't look like any different corner, there's nothing special about it. A bar on one corner, a coffee shop catty-cornered. A neighborhood garden on an abandoned lot. It has nothing to do with the buildings or street or shops or churches or any of it. I hardly ever pass it, just when I'm headed home from one specific place.
One day long ago when the wounds from working at the Carnivale with Simon were still brutal and fresh, when I'd been told I wasn't wanted, in the one place I really wanted to be wanted, I went to my cousin's house. Her mom, my dad's oldest sister, had just died and she had a box of fabric to share with me, the contents of which went into two beautiful Triple Irish Chains I made the following year.
I stayed too long at her house, lingering in this moment of grief, mine borrowed, hers owned. I gathered up my kids finally and stuck them in my car and headed home, only 20 blocks or so, with my orange boxes filled with plaids.
We drove down the cross street headed to the park and reached this corner I mentioned, and there was Simon walking out of the bar. He saw my car and waved at me. I stopped.
I stopped because he'd been fired from the Carnivale too. Now, neither of us had actually been fired of course. I wasn't being paid, to begin with. I just wasn't welcome any longer. Simon was bought out of a contract. We were told we weren't their kind. And I handle heartbreak with two middle fingers straight up, cut people out of my life, fuck them all. Simon was part of it...until he was on the outside as well. And I let him back in, right there on that corner, with my kids witnessing my heart softening.
He came over and was so glad to see me. Told me of where he was headed next. Kept touching my arm, like he couldn't help it, he was so incredibly glad I'd let him back in. We spoke for just a moment. And then I drove away in tears.
He's moved away since then and I haven't seen him since. I send a Christmas card, we like each other's photos on instagram. But it's ok.
Last night I drove my daughters over to my cousin's house to babysit. Brooklyn has watched their kids many times, and London is hoping to get into the business and was apprenticing, for lack of a better term. I made a U-turn at the end of their dead-end street, headed back towards home. As I drove past the corner, I wasn't thinking about Simon. I wasn't really thinking at all. But I glanced up at the corner where we'd said hello and goodbye that last time, and there was a pick up truck parked.
On its back window was a decal that said, "Love will win."
I think perhaps it will. I know it can when I let it.