Saturday, August 12, 2017

Misunderstandings, real or imagined

I could blame it on the fact that I was tired, nay, exhausted, but then, it wouldn't be the whole story. The truth is, you have become a burden and I am looking for a way to offload you. I find today that no, you didn't lie to me, that you did in fact have chest pains when you said you did and that I simply jumped to conclusions without checking.

And then, I didn't call to check up on you or visit you.

And then, I ignored your calls when you did, in fact, call me.

I am sorry.

I will try to make amends.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

I Thought I Dreamed Of You Last Night

You breeze into my dreams but when I wake I can't remember. Was it really you I saw? Were you crying? Did I feel your sadness? Did it fill the world?

You know how grief can be.

It gets quieter...I promise you that. But, no, you never stop feeling the loss. Sometimes the pang wrenches you. Sometimes, it is as soft as a sigh.

You will always remember because you loved. Isn't it wonderful to know that you loved? That in this case it was not half truths or prevarication? That the one true thing in your life was your love for the one now gone?

I thought I dreamed of you. But I only remember as I am about to fall asleep again.

And then a feeling steals over me. In this quietness. In this hush.

In this silence.

I remember you.

For death to be real, it has to seep into your bones. Otherwise you wake up feeling light, before you remember. Otherwise you wake up thinking everything is OK, as it was. Otherwise, you forget.

For death to be real, it must become a part of you.

This loss.

This absence.

That goes on forever. As you search in the dark for what is no longer there.

The ones who see things that you cannot tell you, don't worry, he is still here. They speak to him, they dream of him.

But for you there is emptiness and silence. You hold on so tightly. And then you let go.

You let go.

You let go......

Monday, August 07, 2017

Once Again, This Time With Feeling

I have to relinquish the blame game. I'm just so tired of trying to figure out when and how I was lied to. And it doesn't really matter. I guess, if you could lie, well, I mustn't really mean that much to you. And so I have to take that in, and move on. And relinquish part of my identity and the things that used to go with it.

It's funny how when you believe a liar and you find out about it, you realise that everyone was looking at you with contempt. It's not the liar who is at fault, but you, for believing them. Surely, they say, you should have known better. You should have noted the inconsistencies...where are your supposedly finely honed instincts?

The problem is, you shut these off for some people. Looking at them through this lens is so hard, so painful. But then, once you know they're liars, you cannot look at them through any other lens. Everything they say sounds suspect, insincere. Everything they do, there's a motive behind it. Not one honest bone in their bodies.

No, there is no nuance, no inflection, no middle ground.

You're either all or nothing.

And you my dear, have proved to be nothing.

And now, I have to divorce myself from you, to not answer the phone when you call with your stupid urgent summons, imperious as if you had a right to be.

My life needs a spring cleaning.

And the first thing I need to get rid of, is you.

Friday, August 04, 2017

I Just Want You To Know Who I Am

Here's what they don't know. They don't know that I went down, to where you died, to gather your spirit and bring it back. They don't know that you were in my apartment until your one week was up and it was time for you to transition. Or that I cried so hard every day, willing myself to let you go, but making bargains with God.

I just couldn't love you back.

Everything becomes unstuck when I have a glass of old wine, stuck in my fridge for weeks and weeks as I waited to take that third glass. But I wanted to drink and I didn't. And then I read her book, or at least I started to, that heady mix of everything...that feeling of coming unglued...and then, your name and I knew she was talking about you, only you.

And then I realised that while you were simply intrigued, because she seemed so different, so extreme, so whirling in different colours - basins of blood, cerulean blue, quivering green (a cold sweat covers me, trembling seizes my body and I am greener than grass...) but she, well, she fell headlong into your body, your arms (encircling her in this friendly way, it meant nothing, not really, you were intrigued is all)....and so she wrote about you undisguised...part of the book is wish is ostensibly about something important but really, really, there you are...her happily ever after, her dream come true, her port in the storm.

Did you know?

Did you suspect?

Did she tell you?

How does it feel to fall, regardless, to know that in falling, there was no net and she could not hope to be caught? How does it feel that she fell, knowing you would not catch her, that you would step away neatly, the way you do...undisturbed by the torrents of emotion, unmoved?

Everything's made to be broken.

It's been a strange day of hitting the streets early, before the jam, to get to my assignment a half hour early, when I expected to be late....and that strange half light that plays on my windscreen, and the blisters on the backs of my feet and a meeting where I spoke but didn't take in anything because my mind, my mind, was awhirl with rainbow and otters and nothing in particular because I couldn't get anything to coalesce.

Why does he sing with his face, stiff, expressionless? Does he know that untouched and untouchable is desirable, despairing?

I am not sure.

I wish you knew who I was.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Stormy, Uncertain Days

Life has become tenuous and death ever hovers at the edges. One phone call to say, "I feel better" could be followed with another that says, "Jenny, I don't feel well, I'm going to emergency."

When I can't find any of the cats, I go crazy combing the house for them. Problem is, when you call cats, no matter how urgently, they don't emerge from their hiding places. And it scares me. It takes but a moment for them to fall into oblivion.

I receive a phone call to say, good work, I'm happy with how this project is progressing. And another two hours later from the same person, panicking because things are not moving fast enough. I can't exhale, relax because they keep me on my toes, uncertain, not knowing how they will swing from one minute to the next. Isn't that an ancient form of torture? Enforced uncertainty?

It's been a while now with everything up in the air, like rice swirling in a bowl of water, a bowl of water with a whirlpool that keeps the grains a-swirl....never resting, never finding the ground.

That's what's going on inside me now.

And this is why I switch off my phone and shut out the world from time to time. If there is bad news, I don't want to hear it, I don't want to know. For tonight at least, let me rest easy without the torturous uncertainties you seem to think are so crucial.

This state of upheaval.

This holding of the breath.

This churning in my stomach.

This restless sleep.

The tossing and turning.

The storm, the calm, the storm, the calm, the storm.

And then death.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

An interlude

This is what's weird. It's like the grief has separated from Ebony and missing him and longing for him, and become an entity in itself. Sort of like, I'm devastated because I'm devastated. And then I feel asleep on a sofa and woke up feeling better. And I took Stella for a walk. And she felt better too.

Later that night...

The apartment seems empty. The cats, my warm, soft, fuzzy presences who hover around me while I'm at the computer or eating, rubbing against me, jumping on my lap, mewing to attract attention, well, they're in a cage at Tanti's. I will be going off to Penang tomorrow and I sent them off to be cat-sat.

Rose did it once, no twice...but after Pablo, she'd rather do anything else but. He climbed on the roof and refused to get down for two days. It was a nightmare for her, although she had so enjoyed the Taman Tun house, the location, the graciousness (despite the leaky roof and mouldy walls), the quietness at night. Heck, she even liked the neighbours.

But I'm truly alone now. Alone. And I don't have my comfort kittens to go cuddle...

So there we are, nothing and I
we have each other
There we are, nothing and I
we fall asleep.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


What I say over and over again is I'm sorry, I'm sorry...and at first I'm talking to you my darling boy because I wish I could unmake one month ago, I wish I hadn't gone out, I wish I hadn't thrown that tantrum, I wish I had talked...and found out, he was not starving Stella and he was not torturing her so I wish, I wish...I  hadn't behaved so...

And leaving you at home, never suspecting when I came back with the flowers and you ran into the balcony and Pablo chasing you (you hated him), that it would be the last time I would see you, the last time I could have held you (you hated it when I took you up and squashed you in my arms, your fur was so soft and it felt so good to hold you, my elusive boy, my baby).

I didn't even realise when I got home that you weren't there.

It's been a month Ebony and suddenly the feelings rise up, the ones I thought I had choked down, the ones I thought were under control and I'm sitting in that same chair and the feelings pour out of my eyes, my nose, my mouth....I love you, I'm sorry, I love you, I'm sorry....

Come back, come back, come back.

I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to get along without you. You were not even two.

And I know I'll never see you again. And I know you're gone. Gone. Just gone. And you'll never come back....and I miss you, I miss you, I miss you, I miss you...oh baby, I miss you.