Today was Easter, for both Westerners and the Orthodox. I used to be Orthodox. This is my first spring not even pretending to observe.
My focus was upon my friend who is moving from Michigan to Maryland. She has a job and apartment out there, but was back for the weekend, getting as much of her stuff crammed into her son’s car as possible. It was hard to help her leave. I tried to leave her in better shape than when she arrived, added as much value to her life as I could. When I left her, she seemed sad and traumatized. I invited her to Biggby, to buy her her favorite espresso-based beverage, but she did not have time.
I went there without her. I was sipping my mocha and something did not seem right. The place was overly quiet. I could hear the music coming from the speakers, echoing a little too much. I sat and wondered what was wrong, what expectation of mine was being violated. I realized that I expected subconsciously for there to be more merriment, perhaps groups of happy Christians doing Bible studies, more noise, more life.
The place was close to dead, with only a group of three talking next to a window and a couple separated students slaving away in the glow of their laptops. Not so long ago, I was among them. I don’t recall it being this dead back then, but I was trying to pass my classes, so perhaps I simply did not notice.
Rejoicing was not on my to-do list. The Easter festivities seem so contrived now, a distraction from real issues, like one of my best friends leaving. The festal drama is manufactured, re-enacted in the same, exact way every year. Maybe if I wasn’t watching Lansing empty out one U-Haul at a time, I could show enthusiasm for artificial religiosity. I kind of miss it, like one misses watching reruns of a favorite sitcom. A meaningless diversion has been removed from my life, which I probably should rejoice over. But I just can’t.