A Life Passed Away

The call came at around at four in the early hours … There was nothing to be done except to let the emptiness take over completely. There is a journal entry for the day in winter when he and his wife came over and stayed with us.

* * *

The cancerous outgrowth on left side of the face of this middling man, like an ugly uneven mass of mocking flesh, can be arresting. But the woman with him shares her trauma and harrassment with a scornful smile, interpersed with castdown sag and springing laugh. The haunted look in the man’s eyes would yield to poker faced cracks raising ripples of bubbling mirth. In between crippling chemos, with the last two to follow over next couple of months, we had a feast. The best of doctors have offered no hope of a cure, after relapse from earlier surgery. The old expert of indigenous medicine he’d consulted had been way more capable : his predictive diagnosis had proved accurate thus far. All with a finger on the pulse at his wrist !

Through the night, his restlessness was audible. The next day, we drive the couple over to their pad about twenty miles away. He said I seemed a litle furious : no one pushes over 90 kmph on a busy late Friday afternoon in this poisonous city. I seriously defended against the charge : one, there must have been space enough in front of us to permit that; two, there’s nothing more ridiculous than a vehicle wheeling on a busy highway as if its owner was taking a leisurely walk in the neighbourhood park. The emotional connect he was angling for might have been there but no more than a buzz I was on top of.

The return leg felt heavier but had the same disdain for spending even a moment longer than I should. The goddess beside me was inexplicably more quiet than usual. We both slept when the evening was yet young : an exception we might not remember making in decades.

There isn’t a word to describe how I feel : miserable and glad, angry and restful. It’s an emotion that frequently recurs : as if it were the matrix in which others occasionally come up to cover it. It is conflicting, unclear, and of contradicting hues… a perfect backdrop for beauty to standout and deliver.

* * *

A life’s passed away.

There is so much we understand that is mere padding; so much we know that just appears.

So much that is so real … with a permanence that only seems.


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