Friday, April 01, 2011

Gracias a la Vida


Her eyes were as wide as a bucket of tears when I said I was going to be away that week.
Henry on the offwidth
Photo by Catalina Mekis

“All week?”

“When do you leave?”

It was next Sunday, early, and Henry, Armando, and Catalina had planned to come home late that same day. Maybe I can come home early, I thought, and Henry confirmed that the hardest part was getting there:
“Getting back is a piece of cake, even if you don’t know Spanish that well.”

When we met to discuss our plan the Wednesday before we were to leave, I told Armando and Henry I would leave on Friday and that I hoped we would get to the top of the lower buttress before that.

“I understand,” Armando said. Henry did too. We had one week left together before she left to go home to Brasil. I was going to be away with them, and I wanted to see her one last time before she got on the plane. We had talked about me visiting in April, when her school year was slower after her students had settled in at the university where she taught, but this was also scary to us.

“Don’t have any expectations,” she said. “No plans.”

I deceived her and planned to return early just to see her.