Saturday, April 13, 2013

All the Ways to Say Goodbye

"Listen to the end, dear.
            I can feel your heart pounding; yes, I can. I can hear the thud, thud, thud beating against my face and shaking the very core of my being. I know that you keep your phone tucked beside your breast, often having a difficult time freeing it from your chest’s viper-like grip once the vibration starts and you, too, begin to feel the cadence of my heart mingling with yours. I can feel your heart pounding, dancing with the maniacal rhythm of a third grader with a metal can strapped to his chest and a piece of wood in either hand, and the song gives me pause, beckons me back to days when the sun was just a little higher in the sky and the moon, just a little lower.
            Do not ask how you know me. There isn’t enough time. Let the rhythm take you instead. Let it move you as those old pop songs of the eighties and nineties once commanded. Yes, dear, let it free your mind, for what I have to tell you may not sit well if not properly prepared.

            Tonight, you will die. Do not ask me how I know this. There isn’t enough time, but know that the very heart whose rhythm enthralls me now will soon grant access to the reaper and the time for asking questions will have long since passed. So do not ask them. Do not bother with inquiry. Live, dear, live as only women can.
            I cannot tell you how to go about this or how to take this news or anything of the sort, but I can tell you that it’s coming to me too. I can tell you that I’ve started to disappear, inch by inch, that I won’t hang up so much as I will vanish into the dial tone and drop to the ground like forgotten coin, lost amongst the grass and the dirt and the flowers. I can tell you that we could spend this final night together, that, as your heart beats its final song and my body disintegrates into the atmosphere, we could go as far out as Pluto, admiring all the sights and sounds along the way.
            Can you feel the heartbeat—the pulse of the earth pounding in your chest, pounding against your ribcage with reckless abandon? Is it in you now or have you begun to surrender to the things you haven’t done and the things you’ll never get to do?
            Well, I know you’ve seen the Grand Canyon in all its splendor. I know you’ve raised two precious sons into two grown men, have watched them learn to walk, learn to shit, learn to speak, learn to learn. You have watched them wed and have watched them divorce. I know you never married, and I know you and your children saw Venice, took a Gondola throughout the town and sent a postcard back to your mother only to learn it found her dead in the bathtub, her heart having surrendered too. I know you have smelled the salty sea from the comfort of several warm beaches, and I know the sand still lingers in your favorite pair of sneakers, and I know you will never throw them out.
            I, too, have seen great things, have watched children grow grey hairs and spawn more children, children that look less and less like me, have stood at inaugurations, have seen the ball drop year after blessed year.
            Do you feel it? It is not too soon. It is just the right time." 

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