Sitting at the Edge
A days drive, leaving the city behind, the traffic like an encompassing black ribbon; such a life strangling black ribbon, never ending maze of unfriendly blacktop. So many cars, trucks, busses; everyone angry on their way to somewhere, or nowhere.
I loath the city, the noise that never ends, even in the thickness of night when the world should be at rest; the never ceasing noise refuses to quiet its screeching voice. The squealing tires, the sirens blare, the obnoxious youthful exuberance; the sounds of the city fractures my sleep, and makes horrid a summer nights dream.
Laying here, amongst the city’s drone, remembering the train whistle blowing as it rolled through our once country town, it comforted us; slowing our embrace of the night. How nice it was to live in a town that still rolled the carpet up at 9:00 p.m., so quiet was the night that the coyote’s lonesome cry sang to us our lullaby.
How we came to live in the city, less the Angels, it was a necessity not of our making; it was the death side of life that brought us here. Yes, we were doing what had to be done, the old bride, too busy reading her books to care; till the closing of her husband’s eyes and the spewing of his last breath. Then the old bride, eager to blame, manipulating her tears in control of the moment. Oh what a sorrowful reason to stay we thought, singing the words once sung by Eric himself: “We gotta get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do.” Soon the old bride downed her vermouth, calmed till the next noon hour, a party we never wanted to attend.
Escape, but never far enough, always sucked in, our kindness, the signs on our backs that read [abuse us, we are at your beckon call, we can take your indignities, we are here to serve all sociopaths and degenerative old brides.] Till the pulling and abusing of you, your kindness and beauty, I could not stand the tears the old bride made you shed; my Love it was for you I became the wall of a thick and seasoned brick. Oh the old bride hated me, for once in her miserable life, someone stood upon his feet that the old bride could not knock down, nor play into her deceitful ploy of tears and soulless forgiveness.
She was not interested in caring for her dwindling husband’s life, she did not bathe him, she did not care for him. But we did, giving him his meds in unfathomable ways, bathing him once a day, sitting with him; moisturizing his lips and wiping his dieing skin all jaundice, yellow and gray. And all the old bride could do was read her book…. she heaped it onto our shoulders, and we took it with more dignity than the old bride could endure.
Oh, the loathsome city, a city of Angels that go there when asked by the Grace of God but fear to tread, the city that rips the hearts from the caring and drains their souls, so the greedy social climbing drifters of life have someone to wallow with.
It is there that I lost so much, always thinking of Oregon and what needs said up in the Northwood’s, two souls, two hearts, missed and wanted; words unheard and spoken, but never wanted said. All the rebuilding that needed doing, the great and hopeful accomplishment, drowned by one way calls, they have given up, need to leave this dirty city, leave the old bride to flounder like a fish out of water. But we couldn’t do that, just leave, like so many today; people today can just leave without skipping the slightest of beats, but why can’t we?
We stayed, the old and now bitter bride, you were her taxi that ran by her whim, never caring what the meter said, never a dime or penny reimbursed. After the biopsy done, after the doctors words, we went back, thinking; had we just left, as the song goes, had we just left this tarnished unsettling normal. Head north, kiss the tundra of home where the ocean was so near, or further north, to the Northwood’s, to rebuild what was lost, to reclaim a portion of our sanity.
Remembering the night, our last straw of the day broken, a dark and foreboding night. We had had enough of the old brides bidding, taking, her lies and disgusting manners, her draining of freedom and life; never seeing her own true face of a dark and fungal nature.
Coffee, maybe a movie, or a visit to the kissing spot, we got our things and began to leave.
Where are you going, the old bride said as if demanding us to stay.
I shuffled you out before me, we are leaving for awhile, be back soon enough.
I need things at the store, the old bride demanded.
Not tonight, tomorrow will be good for you’re needs. I walked towards the door.
You don’t care what happens to me, I won’t be here when you get back, the old bride threatened.
Well you have upset the apple kart enough for this day, got to leave, I shut the door behind me.
Four years we dealt with her, the old bride, the thorn of thorns. She wore you thin, the cancer grew, the only thing good in the house was dwindling away; the old bride didn’t care, she just read her book.
You and our fury companion left this earth in search of a white cottage, a November storm, never to be the same.
The old bride in her lacking warmth, you don’t know how to love, she said.
Looking at her made me sick, wanting to squeeze her neck, and watch her fall to the ground in a puddle of her own tarnished fluids. Looking at her, the old bride wasting no time in her malicious manners, her malicious attack; where just a short time ago, I was holding you, loving you, feeling your last breath here on earth.
You leave anything to do with us alone, me included, you are spiteful and bitter; don’t you ever talk to me like that again. I then left her standing, the thief of life that she was, never understanding; give no regard, expect no regard.
Before too long, the old bride talked her doctor into heart surgery, the doctor obliged, always after money the doctor was, for ninty-five years, the old bride spread her hate and discontent; always asking for forgiveness so that she could steal, lie and cheat again while again asking for forgiveness.
The old bride never recovered, no soul, her vessel broken, her heart demented. The only one left, did what I had to do, worked with hospice, fed her, cleaned after her, moving her around for her comfort; that is as far as I could go for the old bride.
This is taking longer than I thought it would, the old bride said about the pending death before her. Can I hold your cross she ask.
Reluctant to do any kindness, I felt your presence in me my Love, removed the cross from around my neck, letting her hold on to it; though something said it was too late for her to ask for true forgiveness from above.
It was a demonic hour till her last breath, as if the hounds of hell were dragging her away. The hospice workers, the fire department, those in the room, they all felt what was just described; in the waiting, those in the house would not even stay in the room, only to see if the old bride was still breathing would anyone go in. Then all of a sudden, her body gave a whooshing sigh, the old bride was gone.
With no reluctance, I forgave the old bride for her demented actions and took the cross away from her cold dead hand now clasped tight; leaving the rest up to God. To not forgive the dead is to have them haunt you, that I would not allow; here on this earth nor in heaven where you my Love so beautifully waits.
Soon there was little reason to stay in a place that we should never have been, should never have accepted as living, the turmoil we endured will never be worth the price of your life. The cost of doing right and good was higher than anyone should ever have to pay, so I loaded a truck and moved to a slightly smaller town; still living in our love, still committed to our life together, promises kept.
People have a hard time understanding love these days, it’s a million dollar word in the reality of life and living, but the word love has been so freely used by people that fail to give the word it’s true meaning and respect; the word, love, is worth nothing more than a dime and a weeks grieving in the loss.
The blessed of the land, they are the ones that know how to give and receive an honest love, unconditionally, humbly, with the ability to invest in their love. People need to understand the power of love, what it adds to life, how love holds together the very foundation of any relationship worth having; in spite of the trials and tribulations the couple may face, if there is love, then they will do it together.
So today, I am sitting here on this sandstone bluff, it has been here for hundreds if not thousands of years; well before you and I existed on this earth. The ocean before me, a peaceful tide, lazy waves below, covering the rocks with their foamy end before drifting back out to sea.
In the distance, a slowly setting sun, inches above the distant edge of our world, all yellow orange, the dark side of a lone gull soars gracefully across the face of the sun; they call this place Lovers Lookout and it is easy to see why. Someone has placed here, a bench made of oak and steel, a little tag of brass on the upper cross piece that states: A place to rest your heart and soul.
Sitting on this bench, I remember so often sitting on the bench in the patio at night, holding hands, you resting your head upon my shoulder. We would watch the stars, talking at times, while at other times; we would just hold each other in the silence as the moon filters it’s light through the old Ash tree.
It is peaceful here, as so often I feel your presence in me, a gentle breeze brushes my right hand and the warmth you always keep on my shoulder. You said once that I was your strength, sitting here tonight; I can safely say that, in this word, you were my strength. Your smile blessed my every awakening, you had no idea how many times in our years together that I fell in love with you all over again; well, maybe you did.
The silence of the night, the star lit sky, so tranquil and cleansing from its very nature. Every nerve relaxes, the senses purified from the day, it’s the calm, the rebirth of serenity that’s as pure as a crystal spring in the night.
Down the path, amongst the Sequoias, amongst the ferns and brown velvet carpet; two voices filter their way to my ear. Turning slightly, not wanting to impose, there on the path, two young lovers, walking slowly towards me in this spot. Arm in arm, talking soft and low, she is probably telling him that she loves him, that she heard a song today that reminded her of him. If he is wise in his young years, he will look to his soul, feel with his heart, leaving society’s bereft values behind; he will tell her that he loves her more than any measure here on earth.
I stand to my feet, thinking of the solitude we loved, leaving this space in time for the two young lovers; as everyone needs a bench in their life to rest their heart and soul. Only one path to walk, I head towards them, the young couple apologizing for interrupting my silence.
I look at them, their love, I see us; love, a most beautiful gift, a gift to be protected and cherished above all things of mortal design.
It’s your turn, the bench waits for the two of you, enjoy the night; I can see your love, don’t stop doing that … ever. Goodnight….