Woman & Home - - Personal Story -

There was a slow in­evitabil­ity to my friend­ship with Allegra. In 1964, be­fore she was born, I went on “baby dates” with her brother Danny.

In 2003, I found my­self in Taos, New Mex­ico, a father to new­born twins. Allegra’s in­fant was eight months older. Two fields away from where my sons ate their first solid food, her house was go­ing up.

In 2013, af­ter three moves, the blind man’s bluff of chance landed me across the field from her in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. It was as though hap­pen­stance were brack­et­ing like an ar­tillery piece to in­tro­duce us. Our 10-year-olds played for the same foot­ball team, and I be­came aware of the Lon­don trans­plant who – like me – had led a no­madic life, and now lived with her fam­ily just across the road.

At the very out­set of our friend­ship came an­other de­lay: the fire­works of her splin­ter­ing “mar­riage” caused me to re­gret­fully take my dis­tance for a time.

When we re­sumed our ac­quain­tance both as friends and as col­lab­o­ra­tors, I re­ally had to re­mind my­self that she had not al­ways been there. It was, and re­mains, as though a close fam­ily mem­ber reap­peared – a touch­stone of iden­tity. It seems im­plau­si­ble to­day that we were not al­ways friends.

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