it was heart-rending to hear her on the other end, 2600 miles away, giving me the run-down of the funeral proceedings between intervening sobs, especially when she mentioned seeing the card which bore your birth and death date. i wanted to leap through the receiver and envelop her in my arms. but i'm not that extraordinary. really though, it's unlawful that i'm not in boston right now.
after putting the phone to rest, i sat on my bed and stared at the dull colorless wall for a few moments before my new polish roommate entered. it was only day two of our living together and i impulsively drenched her with the bad news. i regret doing so because who is she anyway? is she meaningful to me? no. but i was vulnerable, and that only leads to simple-minded actions. i really despise that naked feeling.
so i sunk into my bed, and stayed there for 19 hours, only abandoning it a few times to expel. i awoke sweating several times with the cold news flashing before me, and i wasn't buying it. i kept shaking my head and drowning my face into my doused pillow, soddened from the sheets that fled my eyes. i awoke the next morning with a lead head and felt quite famished. i also awoke with the notion that i was to dole out love and allow myself to receive it. but when i spoke, i spilled nothing but bitter and intolerant words.
when someone passes away, we tend to want to reconfigure our lives. perhaps we want to eat healthier, exercise more, gain new knowledge, travel, etc. but above all, we're inclined to evaluate our current relationships. i spent a lot of time brooding over ways to sew those holes with friends whom i've not spoken with because of silly spats, but still hugely exist in my life, and have not left my being. i plan on tying those loose ends eventually. and i felt a sharp urge to phone a couple of family members whose end is seemingly looming.
so i phoned my mother who has been battling illness after illness for several years now. when one departs, another seems to arrive. it's like death and birth. i then phoned my dear grandmother whose growing age i'm constantly reminded of. a few months ago this reality frightened me, and i wasn't able to swallow it. grandmothers don't age. they're that poised brick-wall in your life; so loving with endless sugar-coated lessons, warm cards, and dishes of candy. her voice soothed me, and i realized just how together she actually is. perhaps more than me.
so claire, i will drink a beer or two or three for you. and i'll scour the earth for a dance partner, but nobody will ever be half as good as you.
i love you.