Sunday, July 11, 2010
You stand up. Stretch. Look around. Something is missing. Or maybe you are forgetting something. You pat your pockets. Look around once more. You check the ground, the chair next to you, the kitchen table. You wander the house looking in each room. You see nothing, shrug, and turn to leave. As you start to walk away you pause. Perhaps this is past you, not present you. You place a hand on your belly. Flat. Well, almost flat. Not as flat as it used to be, but certainly not as round as it used to be either. That answers that. Definitely present you. As one final test you touch a hand to your arm, to your bare skin. Ouch. The simplest touch stings. Yes. It is the present. You are open wound you. A new you that still requires adjusting to. You wake up each morning, look in the mirror, and startle. Day in, day out. Present you looks old, worn out, gray, awful and it is disquieting and unsettling each time you see it. You continue to walk away, still confused, still looking around for what is missing. Then you remember. When you came to this place next you were supposed to have a person with you. You are not missing something, but someone. The next family gathering, the next trip to the bookstore, the grocery store, every trip from this moment on there was supposed to be another person with you. Every time you left the house you carried that person with you and now suddenly she is disappeared. How can you lose a person so quickly? From there to gone in an hour and a half. It is incredible. Life altering. It makes you respect life and what comes after. You pause, one hand on the door, certain that someone is coming. You fool yourself into believing time has sped up. They are in the other room. They are walking, talking, things you thought you would never see, and they are in the other room and soon they will walk out, reach for your hand, and you will proceed together. You snap out of that dream, turn, and walk out the door. You know. It is hard to admit, but you do know. You are the one who has been left behind. You are the lost article. And yet. Every time you leave, every time you move from one aspect of life to the next, you pause, look around, and wonder what is missing.