I remember the last time I’d seen him. I hadn’t heard from him in weeks, when suddenly the phone rang..
“Halllooo…. so…. I’m on my way….”
“What?…… where Are you?”
“I’m in Marysville……. I coould have gonn to Reno, but I’m cooming to see you…”
“About 200 miles away….”
“…so….so you’re saying you’ll be Here in four hours?”
“Yes……… So eeef you haf a Boyeefren, you bedder tell him to Leeeeef..”.
His voice got a little deeper when he said that…
“No…. no boyfriend… ok….. so…. guess I’ll see ya..”
When he arrived, I remember little, except that the wait was endless, sitting in the upstairs window, leaning in with every car sound, until at last he was pulling in, his new silver truck announcing arrivals.
I recall his perusing my albums, and chuckling…. “Awful lot of Donovan albums here…” smug lips…
“Ya…. oh shut up!’…. laughter. There was always laughter with him.
I remember how exhausted he was, as he lay in my arms after love. Once more I felt like Isis, and my warrior had returned, albeit briefly and for unknown time and reasons, and he quickly slept, although restlessly.
That was unusual for him. Strange as it may seem, this man was the most peaceful bed companion.
Our lovemaking was briefer than usual, he doing his best to stay with me, and I remember his comment…”I won’t be happy til you orgasm…” and I truthfully said that I didn’t care. Just to have him there was all the orgasm my heart could take.
“I know I’m not heeere much, but I wan’ you to know…. You get the Best… eeets true…. you always get the Best.”
Next morning after coffee and breakfast, we drove around, and up Fish Rock he spotted a large boat, down a little road below. He stopped and ran over to get a closer look.
“Oh that’s a gooood one…. I wonder eeef eeet’s for sale…. I wan’ my boat. Do your vooodooo, I wan’ a meeelion doolarrs”, and I told him of the visualizations I had been doing for him. Visions of him on his beautiful sail boat, big grin, heading towards a magical island, money pouring down all over him from the sky, and him…. laughing his big glorious laugh…
“Oh, tha’s beautifulll” he smiled.
Soon he spoke of leaving and things calling to him. His plans were up in the air, once again nebulous, changing in unexpected ways, he was agitated, and when I got just a little upset, he looked at me sternly, and for a long time.
It was like at that moment, he just shut down, made his decision, and took me home.
“I thought you said you could stay another night…”
“No…. I haf to go… ” he trailed off.
Quickly he was loading the truck, as I sat on the steps watching. My sadness was overwhelming, and left me unable to talk about anything meaningful. He was already gone to me.
His truck started up, and we eyelocked. Endless time swirls passed between us, as we both just sat there, staring, taking in eachother for perhaps the last time.
At last he turned off the truck, got out, walked over, and as I sat immobilized, he planted a long long hard pressing kiss that made my face surrender backwards in a swoon, and lasted forever. A desperate goodbye through lip talk that stayed with me, full of sadness and resolve.
As the truck pulled away and grew smaller, finally vanishing out the driveway, I sat stunned, really groking the last 24 hours, and knowing that he had slipped through my fingers, perhaps forever, and yet he would never leave my soul.
So now, once again and years later, I held him for a timeless moment; his voice was distant, yet his presence strong, and I sensed a softening, an effect that had washed over him in the brief, intense two years that had transpired. I couldn’t even imagine what he’d gone through, and it was only many years later in Brasil that he began to share with me some of the things that had transpired.
So there I am, lying on the pantry floor, cold I couldn’t feel, pasta I couldn’t see, every nerve straining to absorb every molecule of him that slipped through the wires.
“So….” he began again… “I wan’ to coomm back to the states, when they let me leeeff..”
“When will that be?”, my heart racing at the mere thought of the possibility of the maybe someday…
“Oh, in a year or so, things might be better…”
I breathed deeply, taking it all in. There was no time for reflection now; all focus was intensely on the Now, and later I would replay the conversation as best I could. I felt myself straining to reach him, glean any morsel that was gleanable at this foggy distance.
“I’ve never forgotten”, he repeated once again.
and then he said something that went through me like a blade of fire, branding my solar plexis, the recording in my head playing over and over again, as I saved it for posterity.
“I’ve never forgotten….” … there was a long pregnant pause here……
“…..It is not often that a man can find Peace…………”