Sitting in my car, one December night, I smoked a cigarette while Evelyn wailed: “I can’t believe I’m going to be 29 soon!” She didn’t necessarily sound upset by the fact, but maybe a little amazed. I was amazed too. In the time I’ve known Evelyn, she had grown and become herself through many changes seen and unseen.
In college, we were both quite unsure where our lives would take us or what to make of ourselves. Evelyn’s passion for the humanities grounded her and also sent her into the clouds of idealism. I think that’s what attracted me to her. She’s not afraid to try different things or become different people. She’s fluid and flexible; an interesting fit to my sometimes stubborn personality.
So Evelyn tried on hats and plenty of them. She found a husband, a partner who encourages her to bloom. She gave birth to a daughter, who will, I’m certain, become the well-rounded, compassionate young lady her mother is. She teaches a younger generation about the world and how they fit inside of it. She became a vegetarian out of sheer will-power and health reasons, of course. And she’s still wearing the hat that is “Charish’s bestfriend.”
I took the last drags of my cigarette and reflected on time moving without our approval. How unfair it is, not having the power to sign off on years passed. Although I couldn’t articulate it well enough that night, what I wanted to tell Evelyn was: “As far as a lifetime goes, 29 years is a mere drop in the bucket. I look forward to seeing what else you can do.” Instead, I just laughed and said: “Yeah, that’s crazy.”