I manage to live consciously in the world, so I know it’s July, and I would even if I hadn’t gone to two fireworks shows over the holiday weekend.
But for some reason, a random glance across the kitchen at a calendar — I wasn’t looking for the date and wouldn’t have been able to see it even if I was — reminded me that it’s July.
Meaning it’s after June 30.
Meaning I missed my friend’s annual birthday email.
By a lot.
Her birthday is easy enough to remember, given that it’s four days after my brother’s and exactly one month after mine. Otherwise, there’s no chance I’d remember.
The email didn’t bounce back, so she must have the same email address, and if she gets back to me, it’ll probably be our only conversation until I send an email a year from now.
— “A lost connection,” June 30, 2018
Oops. So much for that.
Last year’s reply came back in August, something about not checking that email address until then. Also a note about how Cape Cod must be mobbed, which I’m sure it was, but I’ve moved twice since I lived there.
But I’m not upset about that. When you hold one conversation a year, it’s easy enough to forget where someone lives. Plus, the only reason I knew she wrote that is because I saved the email, not for sentimental reasons, but because it’s the only way I could remember her email since I never … you know … wrote it down.
No, what upsets me is that even though our friendship has drifted off into almost nothingness — for no reason other than life happening — it feels like forgetting the email on her birthday is a sign of that last thread fraying.
After I realized, I sent an email, even though I hate sending belated birthday wishes.
Maybe the reply, when it comes, will spark a great conversation. Maybe one of these days we’ll actually be in the same place at the same time.
I hope so.