It slithers in the door, drifts across the old wooden floor, floats up through the sheets I lie upon.Thoughts come unbidden to my mind – I can’t remember his voice, I’m forgetting who he was, the words he would say, the engagement of those last days before death finally had its way.
Tears streak my cheeks, and grief once again pays a visit.
It was not invited, and it’s been awhile, and it takes me unawares. Grief is sneaky, as soon as you believe it holds upon you has wained, it appears.
Though days may be filled with joy, though reunions with old, and much cherished, friends may come to fill some of the empty spaces, though new men may come and go (more often go), still my dead lover remains; if only a shadow.
He still has substance, being, and form, but he no longer has a voice, for that has been forgotten. In time, I know, his dark clever eyes will fade to black, he will slowly, gradually, as day turns to night, and night once again today , become but an abstracted watercolor of what he was in life.
Maybe the tears came due to strolling around those four years with that old cherished friend, as we sketched in the last 19 years.
Yes, and the lake was beautiful, a dream, and I for the first time since those helium sphere days we shared, dug my hands down into the earth, and I grew ferns and hostas and lovely sprite astibiles, and languished in the joy that dirt gave me. As the lake shimmered in the late afternoon sun, and we held hands as he took those last excruciating steps towards his own death, and as I held onto the myriad of sorrows he would leave me with...
I shared this with her, my cherished friend. And she told me of her own heartaches, of her now grown girls lives, of marriage , and husband, and places she never wanted to be. Sorrow and guilt, laughter and joy, dogs and grand babies, mothers and fathers, madness, and loneliness, and smothering realities unravel, and One by One our tales are told.
And with every step I take through this forest of my life before my dead lovers lying eyes, and forked tongue, found me stranded by that other lake, as I walk amongst these old memories of an ex-husband not seen or spoken to in a decade, past old boxes of his betrayals, as we talk of that shared friend of the shattered mind we miss, and laugh together at his once laughing eyes, and the sorrow we felt as we watched them turn to madness, we regret those years we missed.
Sorrow no longer fills my days, griefs grip has loosened its hold, and though another man’s lips may kiss me once in awhile, and another’s hand I long to hold, still, the shadow of him lingers; like the pieces of him I hold within the wooden box, waiting to be scattered at his Irish Lake.
As the last glass I brought with me from our four years at his lake shatters on the kitchen floor, I recognize that there is more of him left than I thought. There are more shadows of his lies to conquer, more of his good heart to recall, and learn how to forgive myself for falling for his narcissism; yet I know I will never be able to forget, him.