Between two worlds

View from the ground

The tip of the Winter Garden.  Looking up from the Plaza.

Last night BB King played at the Brookfield Place Plaza, which is the open area in front of The Winter Garden.  I live in Chelsea, New York and haven’t been in the Wall Street area for years.  I forgot how busy with foot traffic it is and very corporate in dress.  Just blocks away from my home and yet almost another world!

BB King took his time getting out onto the stage.  Knowing he is 87, we were thankful he made it to the stage at all.  Once there, he gave a great performance.

The Brookfield Place Plaza is not as lovely as going to Central Park or even Madison Square Park for a concert.  So many gates, concrete and so little lawn makes it difficult to find comfort while waiting and then listening.  Still, BB King made it worth while and my friend J and I had a wonderful time.  Later, we wandered up Greenwich Street for a quick bite.

Buildings loomed above

We talked of music, online dating and planned a few beach visits this summer.  We talk of the future in light and airy terms and I relish these moments.  Hours earlier my friend P called.  Her cancer has returned after 20 years.  Metastasized.  With her, I spoke of the future in terms of prolonging it.  She wanted to know what doctors I know of who can help.  I know women who have lived 10 years or more with metastasized cancer but didn’t emphasize that fact.  The key is, it really matters what kind of cancer you have.  Your oncologist and your relationship with her/him are also important. I referred her to two that I thought she could work well with.  This is the person she will rely on for expertise and who will advise her when making hard decisions.  I admit I am out of my realm.  P is facing my fears realized and really all I have to offer is friendship.  I can act as a sounding board but I would never be so bold as to say I have any of the answers.  That I know how she feels.  I can only imagine.

I didn’t mention to J last night the conversation I had before we met up.  There is a part of me that needs music, plans for the beach and talk of online dating.  I’m not sure how to balance the two worlds and wonder if in time they will blend.  Half of my friends have no fear of the future and the other half isn’t sure they have one beyond 5 years.  I live between both worlds emotionally belonging to each in varying degrees.

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4 Responses to Between two worlds

  1. LB says:

    Mae, your friendship is a gift to P … offering a name for referal, providing a listening ear, understanding her fear. Thoughts are with you as you continue to balance those two worlds.

  2. John says:

    It’s a strange thing, living in the world of illness … suddenly it seems that everyone around you has something. But, I suspect, we start surrounding ourselves with friends who have some kind of illness or disease — it doesn’t always have to be the same illness as ours, any will do. You do start living in a different world — conversations are different, layers of meaning become a part of most everything we say or do, and those without their own illness just don’t pick up on those layers and meanings.

    I think it comes down to what you mention at the end — time.

    Illness suddenly solidifies our mortality — without an illness, we know in the back of our minds that we could go at any time, but, it’s a thought that lives far back, in the dark corners. Mostly, when we’re healthy, we don’t think about it. Illness suddenly places you in a world where The End (while we don’t know when it will come) becomes more real.

    We commented before, about my HIV, and those early days. And, as one who’s outlived so many, I understand that sense of being caught between two worlds … It’s a strange place to be. But, if it’s any help at all … I do understand trying to balance the two worlds.

    And hey … B.B. King! I love B.B. King … well, ok, so I love The Blues in general, but, B.B. and his guitar are gods indeed!

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