Wednesday, May 02, 2007

From Catherine Four- Linos.


Today I walked out into the warm rain, your letter ringing in my head. I raised my face to the sky and let the drops fall on my forehead and run down my cheeks. The streets were vacant, but there were some flower vendors set up under a tarp and I bought a red camelia and tucked it into the buttonhole of my shirtpocket. I walked on through the rain, my clothes getting wet and I not caring, the breeze cooling my bare arms and neck. The city was quiet and hesitated under the close, dull grey clouds. Everything was shining and silvery and clean smelling in this lovely spring shower that washed away whatever of winter this place was holding onto.

Then I was in a nearly empty train, slowly gaining speed, moving ever faster out from the city. Through the rain streaked windows I watched my world pass. Countless people huddled under hats and umbrellas in what really was a pleasant mist, coming in and out of building after building, each one falling past faster and faster in unrelenting succession. I listened to the noise of the train and thought of what you said about being in love with the sound of people living out their lives. I thought of the dream I had as I slept next to you. I watched my own translucent reflection on the windowpane cast over it all. The eyes were different somehow, they seemed younger, their color stronger than usual. Maybe I was remembering eyes I once had. I held a notebook and scribbled words and murmured them back to my reflection ever so quietly, the breath itself the thing that makes the words condensing on the glistening red mouth of the apparition in the glass. Muddy patches began to separate the city into patchwork, and the landscape changed through my rainswept window. Eventually we were passing mud fields, and everything leveled out and gave to a desolate flatness. I found myself moving above a wasteland of mud, fallen trees, abandoned bulldozers and cranes. Piles of stone and gravel, long columns of cement lay across the soaked and frothing ground like ancient ruins.

And then we crossed a long steel bridge that spanned the river. The sky lightened, I could see the rain was letting up. I watched gulls dip and hover around the bridge, unaffected by the bluster of the train. The river was catching the first light through the cloud breaks and it was glinting furiously. I wrote in my notebook of the gull's cries to each other, of lovers who call to each other from across great distances, who cannot soar over the barrier like a gull but must brave the river and swim to each other. They cannot call in that inhuman, unambiguous cry, but must communicate through words which hold many meanings and can easily be misunderstood.

I grew tired thinking of all these things and I fell asleep. When I woke the clouds were gone and through my window a forest was passing slowly, damp and dazzling in the sunlight with the fire of its blooms across all the branches. The train was slowing and we pulled into the station and I could see my mother waiting for me on the platform. I hadn't seen her for months and it was wonderful to hug and kiss her and feel her there in my arms and know she was alright. She is lonely, I know my visits mean the world to her.

We had lunch and drank tea and talked. We talked about my father. This is something I haven't spoken to you about, Fernando, and I'd like to leave that for another time. But as I sat across from my mother I looked into her eyes, and though we laughed and spoke eagerly I could tell she was holding things back, I could see the absence in her eyes. I miss my father greatly, but I only knew him when I was young, and she knew him her entire life. And he was her world. Have you heard the story of Linos, Fernando? My mother's trembling eyes reminded me of Linos. When Linos died the void caused by his absence trembled so intensely that it was heard and then named "music".

After lunch I walked in my mother's garden. She has always kept a garden of herbs and flowers. My whole youth is dominated by the smell in springtime of jasmine, honeysuckle and rosemary. The little plants had just started opening, they were stooped over and speckled with lingering raindrops, but their leaves were upturned to the sky and the warm sunshine. I sat down by the wall in the shade and watched my mother weed her garden. I thought of you. I thought of the absence between us and the music it makes. I wondered when I would see you again.



Post a Comment

<< Home