Several years ago, my then husband and I were on the interstate heading out to our weekly Costco run. The roads were packed and traffic was doing that infuriating start-stop thing where we averaged about .87 mph. I took that opportunity to share the information from an article I had read that applied the theory of fluid dynamics to traffic congestion (disclaimer for those new to the site: I am a geek). I was excited about the research, animated. I used the cars around us to demonstrate the ideas in the article. He thought I was bit nuts. From that point forward, every time we were stuck in traffic, he would make a joke about “damn fluid dynamics.” It became part of our shared past.
I am an only child and I have lost contact will all of my childhood friends. My ex was the only person in my peer group that spanned across the decades of my life. I do not miss him, but I do miss the shared past. I now have entire mental storerooms of jokes and remembrances and no one to share them with. I am building a new shared past with my current partner, but, by definition, it takes time to build a history.
But for now, when I am stuck in traffic, I think of fluid dynamics and smile alone.