Story Practice 01 – Loss
I felt the wind caress my hair as I was walking the dusty street. I was wandering around aimlessly. Was thinking to head to Istiklal street, take a look to the stores, see people walking around, living their lives. Life going on as usual.
It feels funny though, life does go on no matter what you live, or experience, or feel. Sometimes you expect it to stop, like some watcher presses the “Pause” button and freezes time. Certain events make you feel like that. I used to think the time would stop when I graduate from the university, or when I say “I love you” to my wi.. Ex-wife, or when you marry, the moment when you say ‘Yes’ and when your wife says “Honey I am expecting a child”
Or when your wife says “I want a divorce”, or when you learn she had a lover for the past six months, or…
But time doesn’t stop. Not for me, not for nobody else and not for any event. The seconds fly by like sand rolling down between our hands and unlike them we can’t get them back. And sometimes, after learning how it is going to shape itself out it doesn’t feel right. Would you want to watch a car crash if the car was a red Lamborghini with black leather couches with that distinct “rich” feel you get from those expensive cars. Their doors even close with a solid thunk, a proud thunk. Saying “The owner of this car is freaking rich” with every note of that door closing. Imagine a busty blonde babe sitting next to the driver – let’s assume you are the driver and you are male -and had eyes like the azure sky and smiling like you were made from chocolate, heroin and sin. Would you watch it especially when you know the car will turn into a red ball of aluminum folio like a kid had played with it, after they “rescue” you you’d be imprisoned to your body, “eating” from your nose because your motor reflexes are shot to hell and the blonde’s head will be crushed like rotten pulp and her exposed aorta will paint your silk white shirt red like a red geyser with no end , a red sea on the untouched snow peaks on mount Kilimanjaro.
Would you? Would anyone?
While thinking that I realize my feet had taken me to the Church of St. Antuan. The peaky spires of the old building pierce the grey sky tainted with black rainclouds in the far distance. I entered to its grand courtyard where a picture museum was placed. The pictures taken by the Syrian immigrants. Happy faces, sad faces, crying faces… Human feelings captured in every shot. It is easy to see that child is mourning the loss of a favourite toy murdered by a falling house, or that man happy with joy because he had saved his family from certain death… to an uncertain one.
I bought a candle from the old wooden boxes they placed near the entrance. I like how they smell, simple, white; a soapy fragrance but an absence of smell makes it more pure I think. In a way it reminded me of a baby. Full of potential, with no stains on his soul – yet. I lighted it borrowing a flame from another, shorter, candle and buried its bottom to the sandy ground.
I think that’s when the tears have started falling. The church was so silent, so peaceful. Yet I felt like a church violated, robbed of its holiness and desecrated like it was taken over by barbarians. My altar was turned to latrine, my holiness defiled. Everything was so wrong, so dreamlike but it wasn’t a dream. No matter how much I want to turn back the time or wake up from this dreaded reality, this consciousness I couldn’t do it. Every day I open my eyes with the expectation that he would call. Or he would be there. The sudden awareness of emptiness and the realization of that number won’t be calling you, or anyone for that matter, hits you in the gut like a hammer. It’s like living in the post-apocalypse. The world had left you, because of events you can or can’t control but you persevered. To what end even you don’t know. I don’t know. I used to think suicide, especially after the funeral, “not horizontal but vertical” we used to joke when we were in the uni. When suicide was something you can joke about. But I couldn’t do that. The pills numbed me, made me feel I was surrounded by cotton candy and sleeps, enormous lengths of sleep, “helped”. Help, yeah. I felt like I was a shell walking. I “lived” and “worked” but my heart wasn’t in it. My heart wasn’t in anything after he drove that car and killed himself.
A parent should not have to bury his own son.
I sat on one of the benches, drying my tears to my shirt’s collars, heard a thunder rolling outside. I looked at the cross for a while. I didn’t know what to do, where to go, a raison’d etré to continue existing. In a way I had buried a part of me, with the candle, with my son. The stained glasses were very pretty, and the saints were looking at me, gazing at me knowingly. That the loss is real, maybe the realest thing in the world and they know it.