That lady named Diana who lived down the road from me picked up a new companion some day when I wasn’t paying attention. I should probably explain something first: Diana was at least forty-something, single, unhindered by Life. Which is to say, she was still beautiful at her age. In other words, she’s good at turning heads. In some ways, that’s how I came to know her.
Thank God for the television. That it exists, such an appliance, which gives purpose and meaning of life to those who use it regularly!
It is just such a device that showed me a happy Ellie last Friday, on the first day I’ve seen her since high school. She was wearing a purple polo shirt. Her usual shoulder-length black hair with bangs that had not changed for years was tied up in a purple elastic. She also wore jeans and white runners. Glancing down at my own shoes, I wondered when I stopped wearing those things.
There was Angeline and Jeannie at the back of the classroom. Those two were never meant to be sitting beside each other. By miracle of assigned random seating order, those two were sitting beside each other at the back of the classroom. Usually, Angeline would be in the front, two seats to the right of centre. Jeannie would have been second or third row from the back, or standing next to the door if she was caught talking or late.
Suzette stared lovingly at her beloved sitting across the table from her. It was Sunday, so they were on a date. She raised a finger and traced along the outline of his chin, gently lifting off a track of bread crumbs. Hmm! His curly brown hair bobbed up and down as he munched his sandwich, and he nodded as if agreeing with something,…the sauce? Or the water he tried to gulp down, with a cloud of…ick! – flowing from his mouth into the glass. And the sticky little finger prints that he left behind after he set the glass down. He wiped his mouth with the back of the other hand, the one holding his sandwich. A piece of it fell onto the table cloth. No, no, use the napkin! It lay nicely folded at the corner of the table, utterly neglected….Suzette came to a sudden realization.
It was Mother’s birthday. Bernard, the kind one, was the only one of her four children who went back to see her, bringing with him a much-welcomed strawberry cake and sweet memories.
The room where he found Mother was the back living room of their old house. At noon, it was the sunniest room. Its tall windows looked out to a backyard garden, carefully kept with not a weed in sight. The garden was Mother’s favourite. Diane often found here out there, lying on the grass, so still that Diane’s heart would stop, thinking she had fainted,…or worse.
Selima, my friend, woke up with a start on a cold, clammy wet morning, full of possibilities, possibilities! The sky was clouded over, and her brain, woken up with a start by her heart-stopping alarm clock so that her blood felt drained and tingly, thought it was still the previous day. All days, these days, are the same now, in their dullness, and we can forgive her (at least once in a while) if she forgets. See, today was very, very special. Selima turned a year older today. Yes, it’s just a number after all, but what wonderful, wonderful effects that raised digit can have on a person’s life! Selima might have felt it….no, it looks like she forgot. Continue reading
I don’t get to see Calen so much but, when I do, it’s always painful. We went out for a time once, when we were both young and stupid and no one really loved anybody and no one ever fell in love for real, but they were good times. Now, we just see each other growing up and slowly become adults. Where images don’t suffice, we call each other, eat fries together, and chat about stuff. But I started to like him some years ago in the hot summer nights we spent drinking with friends on the beach because he had grown. Continue reading