We are co-workers and enjoy a casual camaraderie. We trade tips on food and exercise, and barber stories. He is several years my senior and tends to act fatherly toward me, or at least very big brotherly…but at a distance. We don’t know each other beyond the carefully drawn lines. We don’t share the intimate details of our lives.
He couldn’t have known the impact his innocent question would have on me. The seven words with the lilt at the end sent me reeling, right into a tailspin.
Are you going south on your vacation?
He was in my office notifying me of his planned days off in July. He’s going home to Arkansas, to see his mom and other family. He knows about my trips south over the past couple of years. He was being kind, he had no way of knowing, because we hadn’t discussed that detail and likely we won’t. We don’t have that kind of relationship.
The days since those seven words have passed rather unspectacularly. I’ve gotten up, gone to work, on walks and rides, back to bed only to start all over again, trying not to think but not having much luck. The spinning, however, is beginning to slow. Soon enough I’ll be back where I was, and at some point, I’ll be beyond.
I suppose. I told co-worker my vacation is not yet planned.