“is this all there is?” i asked out loud.
my mother looked at me and asked, “what?”
i laughed, “i’m kidding, mom!”
she’d come over with lunch and i sounded ungrateful, but i wasn’t referring to the food when i asked the question, not entirely. i was feeling philosophically trapped by faith, and it was one of those moments where i was stuck deciding between emotions and thoughts because i didn’t want to be present. the present couldn’t be me, too comfortably tapped into darkness i decided to go with thoughts to avoid crying cause consoling the witness to your tears is a worse fate than watching the movies imagined by the mind’s reel.
“he can’t be gone. he only left a few minutes ago!” angelica wailed.
the cops had just left her apartment to tell her he’d died in a car accident a few hours earlier that morning. i sat listening in a couch nearby, unsure how to approach her because she’d just spent the last hour telling me what an asshole he was and how he wasn’t helping her raise their son julio, the two year old boy asleep on the floor in the other room.
that’s how it goes, i thought. no one knows. no one’s supposed to know. if they did, they might take one less shower, finally take that long drive, leap from that tall building, make love, kiss, hug, smile, offer a word of kindness, just one more time. they’d say goodbye if they could. some of them. others would return in our sleep to do all those things, adding to our already overplayed reels.
i knew that’s how it went, but like most everyone held onto undeveloped images as if there weren’t shadows in my reasoning. even now i keep a box of negatives as a reminder of where we come from, and they’re layered with ribbons of hope to remind myself where we’re going.
then i wondered if mom would die before me before stopping the train because a list of to do’s does something to the air, turns it sad and oppressive, and leaves me at its mercy because it can’t be turned away, and even if it could, the to do‘s would just get bigger.