My friend The Gardener has disappeared. (I also wrote about him here.) We only saw each other every two or three weeks, and it was a new friendship but, I thought, a deep one. We'd have breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday morning at Los Altos, the dirt-cheap Mexican restaurant just up I-35. We talked about sex and politics mostly. He usually paid, and a couple times he took me out for ice cream which totally made me feel like a girl. In a good way.
He's a sweet man and I think our friendship was getting richer as we got to know each other. I was slowly getting over my urge to lick his neck every time I saw him. But he never introduced me to his long-time partner. I'm sure it was partly because we saw each other so infrequently and there probably wasn't a time when it would have naturally happened, but, also, I felt like maybe he was keeping me to himself. Not that we were having "an affair," but I felt like there was at least a little bit of "the other man" about it, which I liked because it kept our friendship in some small way erotic. Could be all in my head, who knows. At any rate, The Gardener disappeared.
He stopped answering emails. After a break of several weeks, he did reply and say that with the summer he was spending less time at the computer. But then after that, nothing. And I don't have his phone number any more. It was in my cell phone, which I got rid of.
I guess I'm a little worried. His mother died early this year, and a friend killed himself not long before that. He didn't seem particularly thrown by either death, but he's a stolid man, ex-military, not the type to get real emotional. Now, that can mean he has a very healthy attitude, he's philosophical about life and death and deals well with the big stuff. Or it could mean he keeps it all inside and it builds up and he has a meltdown later on. I haven't known him long enough to have an opinion.
I've been thinking of him a lot since I've been here in Indiana with my mom and dad.