Moving Mist


As high as the tree tops across the peony garden the mist blocks our view. A slight warm breeze moves the white cloud across the ground revealing more and more of the budding peonies.

I’m sitting with my friend, Paula as we eat lunch. I motion for her to notice the moving cloud.

She’s very stoic. I think I remember she said she’d seen it before. Not me! This is the earth moving below my feet. Why is she not as dazzled as I am? She’s going to be my maid-of-honor but she doesn’t like the groom. To her all professors make snide remarks to lowly secretaries.

Not Paul. He marched with us around the administration building to protest the parking fees secretaries were made to pay. Duderstadt, the president then, crossed our picket line. “Hi, Paul,” he said. Paul answered him with his first name too.

Paul has never talked down to another human being. Needless to say, I lost Paula as a friend. She never initiated any contact. One time she only spoke to mutual friends I invited on a trip to Detroit’s State Fair. She even complained when I sent two birthday cards to her. Adding up frustration toward a person leads to the friendship going down the drain.

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