Wednesday, December 9, 2015
The listing has begun. When one loses something or is violated or traumatized, the need to make sense of it waits until the drama of gnashing teeth dies down and the quiet sets in.
So, last night, as the cat found her perch on the bed and began snoring, I started the long list. I wanted to name the things, and then to kiss them on the forehead before letting them go. I mourn them, mourn myself and my fragility, my ephemerality. Name them, I say. Call the roll and recognize them for the gifts they have given. Love them. Let them go.
There were the big things: the pickup truck I had nursed to health with new cylinder heads, front differential, wheel bearings, drive shafts, axles, boots, radiator, power steering pump, tires. With the camper shell, it was my get-away car. I could run to the canyons when life got too hectic at work and at home. The four wheel drive was just enough macho to feed my need for manliness. And the bike: Dura Ace, Mavic wheels, lights, and bell -- all the pieces of a fast commuter the way I like it. But there are the small things too: the headlamp that my son gave me for Christmas three years ago, my clown jacket with red polka dots, my extravagant Sidi Dominator bike shoes with yellow, red, and blue leather, the heart-rate monitor that had listened to my pounding chest on so many long rides and time trials, the helmet, gloves, and pack.
There, I have them all in my sight. I speak to them at this moment of reckoning, and I utter a requiem for times we had together. I tell them thank you and I bless them for our shared moments on this crazy earth-walk. I see them out there arrayed as a kind audience now ready to move on into the chapter of their existence.
Good bye, dear friends. Adieu. Que les vaya lindo, con Dios.
As I say this, the lights dim, and the auditorium of our shared moments empties. This show is over.
The house crouches and readies for what comes next.