Apophasis

It’s almost a year since you’ve been gone
and I often find myself thinking about you
Remembering the laughter in your eyes
even when everything was falling apart around you.

For so long that I can ever remember,
you always relished your precious freedom
you found the woman who was your equal
while our mother almost lost all reason

So I tried so hard to not be like you,
a man with too many lovers
But I only ended up playing the field,
though my heart was too slow to recover

the way yours always did,
the quick way that you moved on
it was a curse I had to bear,
still loving those so long gone

Sometimes I find myself thinking of your final days
hearing the last words you spoke to me then,
still the distance was too great between us
though I knew we’d never see each other again

So as this year goes slowly by,
the first year of really being without you
but it’s like you’ve been gone long before you were really gone –
Did it feel the same for you, too?

Darkness

Darkness falls around me,
evil lurks wherever I tread
afraid to reach out, my hands frozen
in fear I wallow, I might as well be dead

What demons do I cower from?
What cherubs have I driven away?
How this putrid chill engulfing my soul
overwhelms the dawn of each new day.

Leading myself out of this darkness, I struggle
gathering threads of courage to face my fears
yet never have I been so lonely in my sorrows
drowning in an abyss of my own tears.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Object

The clock is loud, its tick-tock echoing somewhere in the room.  When I find it, it’s inside the entertainment cabinet, its battery slowly running out for the digital readout for the fourth city – now unnamed for its label peeled off a long time ago – is blinking, like a light about to go out.

Hoping that the battery compartment hasn’t rusted, for it’s probably been at least four years since I’ve replaced it, I flip up the lid and sigh, relieved, that the compartment is fine.  When I change the battery – it takes only one – the tick tock becomes louder, and I remember one night long ago when I had a lover over and he complained that he could not sleep because of the damn clock that kept on going and going and going.

It’s my father’s clock, I told him.  He got it as a business gift or something a long, long time ago.  I was probably only a teen.

Well, it’s too noisy, he grumbled.  I can’t believe how you can sleep through that.

Well, I can, I said.

Well, I can’t, he said.

Well, you can go then, I said.

Well, I will, then, he said.

Well, good-bye then, I said.

And so he left at around 3 am.  I remember, because that’s what my father’s clock said.

It’s a small thing, about 6 inches wide by 3 or so inches high.  It has a square face that tells the current time, while on either side of it are digital times for Paris, San Francisco, New York, and if I remember correctly, for the one whose sticker came off, Tokyo. It was a gift to my father by some one who worked for Evergreen Line, a “unified common trade name for the four shipping companies of the Evergreen Group,” or so says their current website.

I remember seeing it on my father’s desk when his company was still very successful, when he owned not just a gentleman’s club, but also a gas station, and during Christmas morning, we’d get into his Mercedes and his driver would take us through the city where people waited for him at certain places to give them their Christmas presents – money and a sack of rice.  And I’d like to believe because I must have heard it somewhere as a child, that he also once owned an island that disappeared when the tide came up – hey, the Philippines has over 7,100 islands.  The story could very well be true for I have memories of him taking us along with all his business friends and I was so excited that when I slipped off the inner tube, I thought I could just go down onto the bottom of the ocean, and walk to the shore.  And I’d like to believe that for one minute, when he was truly powerful, when people really did look up to him because he was, at one time, rich, that he really did own that island, that he really did business with the Japanese – and that one of them bothered to give him a little token of their gratitude.

And that now, I have that token.

It’s the only thing I have left of my father, really.  He died last year, poor and surrounded only by very distant relatives, with none of his children close by –  and I was so lost in writing and fangirl politics to really allow myself to grieve the loss of the man I really loved, no matter how flawed he was.

I still haven’t done all the grieving.  I haven’t even started.

Next week, he turns would have turned 70-something, I don’t even remember his age because in my mind, he’s never aged.  In my mind he’s always smiling, always telling me to not worry about the small things, to always do good any way I could because there was always someone worse off than I was.  And that though he may not have anything to leave me in money or property any longer, now that the days of wealth for him were long over, he did his best to give me an education, whether I took advantage of that gift or not.

Most of all, his greatest lesson for me was to listen; he said that it was the hardest thing to learn in the world.  And he’s right, it still is, especially for me.

And so I like the tick-tock that I hear through the house.  I may have kept it hidden for over four years, but this morning, I pulled it out of its hiding place, relieved to hear it still ticking, replaced its battery so I can keep on hearing it.

So I can keep on listening.

Weekly Writing Challenge

Today’s Just One Of Those Days…

…but not like any day.

Because today I lost a friend.

Even though I last talked to her almost two months ago, she was always close to my heart.  Even though as one of my most awesome fiber teachers, who taught me how to think outside the box, think beyond black and white, and who never got over her losses in her personal life, would often find herself in a box she’d created for herself out of her own fears and insecurities – and to whom I did say again and again, you’re beautiful inside and out, no matter what anyone says…for it forced me to see how beautiful I was as well.  For aren’t we all…

And even though there were times I wanted to throttle her for saying or doing things that weren’t exactly politically correct, she was still as cool as beans.

That is, if beans can ever be cool.  

To the woman who taught me not to be afraid of color and ingenuity and being yourself.  Rest in peace, dearest Janice.
To the woman who taught me not to be afraid of color and ingenuity and being yourself.  Rest in peace, dearest Janice.