The trouble with hello
By Virginia Jasmin Pasalo
I never believed in goodbyes. They mark the end of what really does not end. I said goodbye to my parents and friends, but they are in my thoughts often, and I speak to them like they never left. The difference is that, they are no longer in this time zone and may have teleported into something else, somewhere.
For the recently widowed who spent a lifetime of rainy and wet seasons with their partners, grieving is a daily, painful experience. A friend tells me, “No one is going to cook for me now”, and sobs. A couple may have “summered in each other’s arms and slumbered into glow” and may have “never heard the whisper of snow” but as the song concludes, “summer’s not forevermore”.
To be honest, it is not only the cooking that is missed, but so many other things shared in between. Even the mundane and the ordinary trigger a stream of tears. Bitter fights are being remembered with compassion and understanding, and with each retelling, become, mere lover’s quarrels. Never mind that at some point, you may have thrown plates and daggers flying in his face, or lobbed a handful of salt in his laughing, insulting eyes.
I would imagine that among couples, the most important “missing” part is the intimacy, “the desire to have and to hold” and being naked together, and feeling at ease with it. But this cannot be expressed in a eulogy, where the “best” things are said of the departed, among people who have a picture of you as a prim and proper couple, a walking paragon of good manners and right conduct, who have sired good children but with an image so clean, no one thinks you cavorted in bed.
A quiet time with you
my love, to tie a string
in your precious being
like in a kite, before I fly
to weave through clouds
beyond the sky.
In each ascent, I will remember
as I pass the sun,
the smoldering heat of your skin,
while over the sea, I shall dive again,
into the depths of your salted sanctuary
and while passing through rain,
I shall close my eyes, stick my tongue out
to catch each drop, and swallow gently
as if, quenching my thirst
with the bursts of sweat,
juicy little fruits
from your quivering flesh.
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