The 23rd of April.
The anniversary of his ‘last prostitute’.
I cannot know this, his ‘last’. I doubt this is truth for so many truths were twisted in the fabrications of his lies.
No matter the depth of work I have done on recovering from this trauma rendered by the one I allowed deepest into my heart, this day could have remained wired with deadly traps. I never seem to move far enough away for this relationship to stop hurting. That navy blue, scratchy horror makes me wish I could scrub my skin from my bones. I will never feel clean.
But I was given a great gift this day, so I relax within a warm smile of recollection.
The morning was fine and bright, just temperate enough to plan my works for outside. I had begun my moon dancing ground, and I intended to complete as much as possible. I had an early start so took myself to breakfast. IHop was close to Lowe’s.
I sat comfortably alone at my booth in a safe, dark corner. I mused about my internal self, considering what I wanted to create that day. I was doing well, feeling strong, mostly free from pain. As I gazed at women who could look like goddesses themselves if they were not so beaten down from within, and children in various states of growing awareness and self destruction, I noted a trio of people at the restaurant. Two men, and someone from behind I couldn’t be certain. The men seemed different, somehow. Solid. Vital in a way no one else around me was. One man seemed intelligent and kind. The other was very old, wizened face and sheer white hair. Yet I found myself attracted to him, his vitality, some ineffable quality in his essence that shone and beckoned. I tried not to blatantly stare, but I was entranced.
I was still unfinished picking at my blueberry pancakes when they left. I noticed the smoothness to the old man’s walk as he left, impressed by his strength. I sat contemplating what made that group so unusual, so riveting. They had moved on, so I wrapped up my meal alone.
As I left, the younger of the men was holding the door. I thought them long gone, yet he was holding the door, for me. I thought to smile and pass on, but his mannerism and then his words stopped me.
‘I just had to tell you, you remind me…’ I paraphrase, expecting him to say ‘of someone I know,’
‘Of a poem.’
‘Do you know Mary …’ and I do not recall the last name. I am horrible at names. This bothers me, and I work to improve this skill, but I was taken by surprise and fell to old habits, and the name slipped out of my mind as soon as it fell from his lips.
The tall, kind stranger began to recite lines from a poem about Odysseus, he who voyages, now home from the Odyssey, the story of his voyage. There was no need to feign interest. I was fully engaged by his words, his eyes, his manner. That he should speak of Odysseus, one of my favored of the Greek heroes for he rightly suffered for his invasion of Troy.
‘How intriguing,’ I paraphrase myself, ‘ for just the other day I was watching the Odyssey, the part with Odysseus and the winds.’
‘Where he gets the bag of winds?’
‘Yes. I watched because the winds are my friends.’
‘Really? The winds are your friends?’ and he said his name, and I said mine, and we shook hands, and his hands were firm and warm and solid.
He was on his way to Canada.
I was on my way to Wal-Mart.
We will most likely never meet again. Not in this world, not even in cyberspace. And thus there will always remain a mystery; a the timbre of his voice, and the light in his eyes, and the gentle strength of his touch. My heart lifts on little wings. A secret smile flutters on my lips.
I discovered I am worthy of strangers quoting me poetry. I must never forget this gift of the universe when I needed it so.
Poetry. A most intimate moment of communion, with an asbolute stranger.