Four days and eight hundred miles later we were getting on each others nerves. Yet, it is interesting to note, that we weren't actually getting on each others nerves. We were getting on our own nerves. This was just a case of two loners who hadn't been alone in days. For days we had been operating contra to our life-long habitual patterns. I think because we both realized to this, what snapping and growling there was didn't get very far. (And I did apologize for those bite marks.)
I could see my ego building up a story in my head, like a thunderstorm pulling itself up out of seemingly nothing, growing dark and ominous, and tossing out lighting and hail, until the full fury bursts forth. But the thing about thunderstorms is that they need a front against which to build. They need a place where north wind pushes against south wind. Without that opposition they cannot form. Without that push back, they dissipate into a gentle breeze.
I let go of the story line. I didn't push back. All those little personal foibles on his part that my ego was so intent on convincing me were the source of my annoyance (because heaven forbid I should be to blame for my own foul mood) we, in fact, no different on day four than they had been on day one, or in all the years previous. And perhaps I am projecting, but I could almost see him doing the same thing when he looked over at me on the last of those long drives.
Because of this, the ego storm that was brewing, never got a chance to erupt and we passed our last day together in good company. By this morning all that had faded and we were able to spend our last hours together in peace and gratitude for each others presence.
There were no regrets as I hugged him goodbye at the drop off lane of Epply Airfield.