The Proper End

It was an unguarded moment between two people who have many miles and thousands of exploits between them.  A moment that simultaneously bridged and expanded a chasm of two lifetimes, making the distance matter more for what was lost on the way to our separate sides.

It was a perfect moment.  The last shot of the movie.  It would start as a long shot.  Two middle-aged women sitting at a table talking and laughing over drinks.  As the camera moved in you would start to hear their conversation and then one of them would pick up an old straw wrapper and her spoon and say, "Wait, I'll do the straw-paper and spoon re-enactment of what happened."  The other woman would then laugh harder than she had in years, because something about the situation and the straw-paper and spoon re-enactment would strike her as hilarious.  Then the two of them would laugh until they cried and their ribs hurt.  Then a dissolve and the two would be saying goodbye.  They would say, "It was great - really great - to see you," and they'd both mean it and say a last goodbye as strangers and as friends.

And this was how it was.  I see it as a camera shot, because I can't remember how we got to the straw-paper and spoon re-enactment of the night she (the straw paper) walked into a tree branch (the spoon) and gave herself a concussion.  In truth, I can't remember what came after, either, because the laughing made everything else fade.

I know that this will be the last time I laugh like that with her.  More than likely, it will be the last time I see her.  It was our proper end.