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The Last Time I Was Truly Present for Ten Whole Minutes

·329 words·2 mins
Mental Health

You take a ten-minute break midday to drive me across town to the vet to pick up some medication for the cats. I’m perfectly capable of driving myself, but I can’t believe how lucky I am. To be hanging out with you in the middle of a workday, hanging my head out the open window, smiling at the sunshine like a happy dog that can’t believe its good fortune.

And I can’t. I can’t believe my good fortune. Can’t believe I still have sunny days that feel just like class field trips did when I was a kid, and we piled into some put-upon bus to chug along the narrow country roads. We got to go somewhere else when we were supposed to be in school, and that was amazing. Most importantly we got to go together. Gossip on the bus. About teachers. Love interests. Our dreams, the absurd and the aspirational. It didn’t even matter where we were going, not really. A museum? The planetarium? The orchestra? It was the same bliss every time.

And so is this. My heart feels like it’s going to burst when I turn and see your face in the driver’s seat, chatting away at me. It’s a field trip, the last day of school, and my birthday all put together.

Yes, it’s just a ten-minute break. I have chores and deadlines and errands aplenty stretching out in front of me the moment I get back home. But for those ten minutes, we are together, bonding, on our way to somewhere else. A break from the routine.

And for ten minutes, I don’t ruin it by comparing it to something else or thinking about why it’s not perfect or how it could be better. I don’t destroy the moment by worrying about what is waiting for me to do later.

No, I spend an entire ten minutes enjoying your companionship, the sun, and the simple pleasure of unexpected company while running an errand.


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