Why It’s Important to Live Here a Long Time

I was walking past the front door of Imagine about 12 years ago and there was a young woman behind the counter and someone said, “What are you doing tonight?” and she said, “Goin’ to the Country Club with myrrh.” And then I was past the door, wondering if I’d heard that right, if she was hooking up with two other Magi who had frankincense and gold, and what the Christ Child might be doing at the Country Club.

But I didn’t give it another thought until about ten years later, when I was in the bar upstairs at the Krebs and the same young woman came in with her parents. She was hauntingly familiar, but it took me several minutes of riffling through my mental Rolodex to place her. She was, after all, ten years older, and in her case, ten years more striking, with extraordinary eyes and a beautiful smile.

A year after that sighting, a friend recommended a friend’s blog, said it was wonderful, which it was, and there, on my first visit, I saw again the young woman who went to the Country Club with myrrh and sipped red wine at the Krebs. The daughter of the blogger, she appeared often, and even acquired a name.

Then, last autumn, I learned that her best friend was the daughter of another friend. And a few months after that, I read that my friend’s daughter had a nickname: Mer.

It was only a matter of hours before my subconscious completed the circle, dropped in the last piece of the puzzle. “Goin’ to the Country Club with Mer.” No incense, no gold, just two young ladies stepping out. I felt relieved to have resolved that memory, and it only took 12 years.

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