When I moved to Pueblo in 1993, I knew no one but my intended. This was over Labor Day weekend and my daughter started school the day after we arrived and on the way there (we walked together), she met a girl who lived down the street from us with whom she is friends today. In fact, my daughter was the only one she wanted in the hospital with her when she had her second child just a few months ago.
Things didn’t happen so quickly for me. It took me a while to adjust and to find a decent job. I had to get over the shock of going from a decent paying job (see below) to working for $5.00 an hour. Seriously.
After a couple of bizarre temp jobs and realizing that women in Pueblo do NOT value friendships with other women, I got my job with the HMO. Loved. It. The company was just on the verge, everything was exciting and there was an energy and vibrancy about the company that was a very rare and special thing.
During my time there I met X. I can’t identify her any more than that because she is so very private. I’m sure she will never read this, but I respect her desire for confidentiality. Over the course of working, not together, but close enough to cross paths often, we found things in common. I also ran into her in the grocery store with her kids. Eventually, she invited me to her house and we started hanging out. We hiked together and made road trips together. She taught me how to pack a backpack and about the joys of hot springs. We laughed a lot and we got each other through a lot of tough times.
When her son got his girlfriend pregnant at the same time my daughter dropped the bombshell on me, we clung to each other like drowning sailors, acting as each others’ life raft. She called me to help her overbearing mother-in-law out of their house one night because she said I was “a calming influence”. She talked me into signing up for a 26 mile walk on the White Sands Missile Range in 2001 and with her, I pushed my grandson all over town in a stroller training for it.
We had fun.
She helped me move when I left my late husband, getting my important stuff, computer, personal papers, etc. out of the house and into my new apartment while he sat in the living room in a drunken stupor.
When I met G, before we realized what was happening between us, she was happy to include her in our outings. On the weekend when everything changed, the three of us were supposed to go on a walk up in Winter Park, CO. We didn’t tell her what had happened the night before. We were both a little it stunned and nearly hung over from lack of sleep.
We tried to be good. Tried to keep our hands off each other or at least out of sight. Didn’t work. She knew and she felt hurt.
There wasn’t any big blow up. The three of us talked it out, I tried to explain that what had happened was completely out of my realm of experience, and so I simply didn’t know what to do. We continued to do things for a while, sometimes just her and I, sometimes all three of us. I don’t know if she started to feel awkward about hanging out with lesbians or if she didn’t like it that it wasn’t just the two of us any more or if it was just time for the friendship to fade.
I think about her a lot. I think about calling, trying to get together for lunch or something. Then I think, maybe she was trying to tell me something when she stopped reaching out. It’s a little poignant, but maybe it was just time for our season to be over.
Whatever happened, I wish her well.