When the end comes, I would like to think there will be a welcoming committee. The people I’ve lost will be there waiting for me with smiles and hugs and lots of really bad jokes. They won’t behave like angels because I wouldn’t recognize them if they did. In lieu of the harps and melancholic rituals I was always told to look for on the other side, they’ll have the snarky adjectives going strong; behaving as if it was just another rainy Monday morning in the middle of all that living. They’ll bitch about having all the time in the world and we will laugh our asses off, because that kind of thing will be a punchline from the ever after. The stuff that mattered before will keep on mattering, but it won’t come with a baggage check.
I hope there’s a makeshift ballgame going on in the backyard, with seat cushions for bases, a picnic table serving as the pitcher’s mound and a semi-circle of trimmed hedges playing the role of an outfield wall. I will move through the kitchen and stand at the back door watching; my finger nails scratching a clumsy guitar song along the screen. I’ll breathe in the freshly cut grass and shuffle my feet to the piping hot music coming through the transistor radio on top of the refrigerator. Outside, the laughs will paint colors into the air and the smiles will go frozen inside the life of a snow globe.
The clock that hangs on the kitchen wall might be a Van Gogh masterpiece, with the hours hand a sunflower and the minutes hand the petals and the tick will speak to me in French and the tock in Italian and the roam of five minutes time will feel like the most romantic thing. Dragonflies will write sonnets in the blue sky and the breeze will sound like Carole King. And deep inside the learning of all these many things, I’ll see the truth.
You have faith in the people you surround yourself with, but you don’t really know faith until it’s time to say goodbye.