Counting my effects to make sure I had everything—these days I have to do this when moving from one spot to another while travelling—especially after only six hours of sleep in a thirty-six hour period: one bulging handbag, one suitcase, one stupid plastic bag still heavy with past editions of The Atlantic, Poets and Writers and The New Yorker I still hadn’t managed to finish reading, I head toward the money exchange window. I gag when my $20 nets me a five pound note and a few coins. What’s the exchange rate again? I need an espresso before I negotiate any more transactions. Hoisting my handbag onto my shoulder, I turn, about to head toward the coffee cart and stop. A woman in a trench coat like mine is peering down the corridor I’d exited just thirty minutes earlier.
Squinting at the woman through my prescription sunglasses (it’s got be pitch dark before I switch to my regular ones: vanity, they hide the suitcases under my eyes), I head toward her. “Donna?” She stares at me. I stare back. The moment hangs there. Can’t be sure; is this my hockey/softball playing chum? The last time I saw Donna we were both in our teens. What the hell. We both grin and grab each other. Hey, even if it’s not Donna, I’m getting a hug when I most need it. But I know it’s her, no big ESP thing, it just feels right.
(The photo above is of the two of us on the bridge near Joan’s house in Morland).