Dec 13, 2007

Another Death


"And there was a Great Cry in Egypt" by Arthur Hacker


We were standing on the pale pavement by the stairs to the porch, brown plastic bags in hand. She sat on the topmost stair, copper coiled hair in a short ponytail, phone to her ear. Her face was blank almost, but with a residue of sadness. Her white teeth were veiled by rose lips. I said, "Are you okay?" And she said, "Yeah," but we both knew it was a lie. I passed on, gently rubbing her shoulder, hoping the the gentle touch from an acquaintance wouldn't be uncomfortable.


Lured in by the laughter of men and the smells of food, I found myself in the kitchen. A paper plate, white sushi rice, sweet and spicy curry. I offered to adopt the cook who was finishing his plate. He just smiled.


Stepping out in the the hallway, I looked out the the front door. I could see his figure slightly hunched over her. I turned away and wandered into his room. He came in after me saying, "Her friend just died." Another one?, I thought, thinking of a mother's death in January. I looked at him and he understood. Needlessly I said, "Go talk to her." I heard the loud laughter in the kitchen again and thought how odd it must be to hear it while in so much pain. I shook my head, another death.

1 comments:

Kris said...

I read this and it feels like it's flowing. Not like a stream or river, but like drifting in an ocean. It's a sad slow movement, but very smooth and gentle. Easing you into accepting a sad truth.