2020/2021 (part 1)
The principle of equivalence tells us that if A=B and B=C then A=C. Lucky mulled over the implications of hindsight being 20/20 and 2020 sucking. Perhaps hindsight was overrated.
Especially when you throw the phrase “speak of the devil and he shall appear” into the mix. He had spoken of her numerous times with no such appearance. Not so much as a whiff of brimstone.
After a couple years he felt it was time to contact her.
The fact that he wasn’t sure what he wanted to say did not give him pause. In fact, it was one of the things he missed most about their relationship. She was always equal parts fortune teller and shaman… assuming that it was commonplace to say “Would you look at the ass on that shaman.”
He would just write and she would figure out what he meant.
He typed in her email address and began…
“I’ve been playing a lot of this online game recently. Which one doesn’t really matter, I know you’re not a big fan of sitting in front of a computer clicking and cursing. The point being that I’ve dedicated a lot time to it and the most interesting thing, from a psychological perspective, is that this game has two settings.
The first is Normal. In this mode you play for fun and to get better at the game. Whether you win or lose doesn’t really matter. You play for the sheer enjoyment of the game. The second option is Ranked. Here you compete against other people and you move up or down in ratings based on how you perform. It’s a lot more stressful but, as you can imagine, the games are more intense. They count. Awesome when you win and terrible when you lose.
Here’s the thing… I’ve been wondering if our time together was Normal or Ranked.”
Lucky leaned back in his chair and wondered why, after so long without communicating with her, he would open with such an convoluted analogy. As he was occupied in the task of wondering anyway, he wondered a little more. This time about why New Year’s Eve was such a tough time for him. All around him people were getting together to celebrate the demise of the shitshow that was 2020. Gone were the huge gatherings, thanks to COVID-19, but the hopeful spirit remained. There was something in the air.
Maybe this was going to be his new tradition. Missing her.
He figured he’d better include a good part so the possibility of this being the last New Year’s Eve he’d spend without her remained intact.
If that was what he actually wanted. He had no idea. His dog, also named Lucky, tried to jump up in his lap.
“I kinda think we were both. We broke the game, for better or worse. We lived outside the rules.
Why do I think this? Because when you walk into a room it’s like when I scratch the inside of my ear. Nobody else can hear it, but to me the sound is thunderous. Like waves crashing on a beach.”
It was almost midnight. He hummed to himself “We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine; But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.” He felt a nervous energy start to build. He wanted to send the message before 2021 began.
“I’m sorry I don’t have a better handle on why I should be sorry. But I am. I’m also sorry I don’t know why I’m sending this after so long. I just need to. I hope it finds you happy. Truly I do. I think of you every day.”
10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…he hit send …2…1…