The day she turned thirty

The day she turned thirty was the day summer became fall. In an hour’s time sweat dribbles became snot bubbles and she shivered as she sat on the concrete bench, unprepared for the transition. She ignored her eight-dollar sandwich and stared out across the murky green river.

She was not expecting him to call. He did not call. He could have called, emailed, something. It would have been a nice gesture. Contacting someone on their birthday is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It entails neither extended conversation nor real-time interaction. But even the shallowest of messages would be outside her expectation parameters and uncharacteristic of what she assumed was his communication strategy. So she was not expecting him to call. And he didn’t.

The moisture evaporated from her eyes as she stared unblinkingly at the raised bridge two blocks away and contemplated vertical avenues. Folds in space. Her life was a piece of paper that had been folded into thirds, each third its own unique adventure. In ten years she will refold the page and the columns will be smaller. Time would be moving faster now, and individual experiences would become less important in relation to the totality of her life.

She considered a diagram.

It began to rain. Her eyes were dry and she was disappointed and the afternoon was gloomy and gray. She stood up and threw away two dollars of her sandwich. She tucked her cold hands under her arms and wandered to the subway station, bewildered by her disappointment that something she did not expect to happen did not and would not happen. It was an unreasonable, indefensible feeling. She boarded the train feeling guilty, foolish, and not at all possessing of the emotional maturity inherent in being thirty.

Later, she ate pizza and watched her favorite television show.

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