January 16, 2005
Leaving Jake Part 3
Our relationship had been adventurous. Hiking and backpack trips were full of laughter, teasing, frequent stops along the trail to embrace. He was a witty and charming man, that Jake! On one particular hike I was trudging up a steep trail, pack on my back, panting ( and I was in shape). He made his way effortlessly, almost machine like. I stopped, breathless, and he came to stand beside me, and mostly to hide my embarrassment I said,” bet you don’t even have a pulse? (huff huff)” I slipped my fingers over his wrist, “see, you don’t have a pulse,” I announced.
With that he said, “hug me!” I wrapped my arms around his tall slender body and squeezed him. “Now take my pulse,” he said.
I laughed. He was occasionally able to shine like a star, but I was,” the older, more experienced woman.” I wrote.
“ Ha!,” He laughs, reading over my shoulder, arms folded, feet spread apart in the sand, striking his favorite “King and I pose.” It was part of our ritual folklore.
Fate plays a hand in my life. I make plans, and watch as they crumble, not passively either. I run to the disaster, as if it were a wall under construction, built by some impatient person who caused this defect. The plaster is sliding. I run to hold it in place, it shifts, and slides to the floor anyway.
Looking out towards the ocean and sky and night sky I see the rich white milky way, and silently remember how we are but a small part of that galaxy. The water is deep, mysterious before me, powerful. I look back at myself, I am a speck of sand on a beach. I wonder why I even try to make plans sometimes. As I plan an ending, Jake plans a different one.
“ I am buying a small condo in San Miguel and moving,” I say. "I have signed the papers, the offer has been accepted, I am remodeling, I am eager to go on.”
“ I will help you remodel,” he says, “ I am moving to San Miguel.”
“ You are not moving to San Miguel, but I will invite you to a farewell dinner.”
“The beginning of many,” he says.
“”yes, I will have many dinners, many friends over, male friends,” I say, smiling demurely, picking the feathers from my teeth.
“ I ‘ll get rid of them all,” he says, feel apart, arms folded, eyes sparkling, a smile spreading across his face.
As I type in these lines, the realtor calls, “The owner of the condo who accepted your offer has a problem, she has declared bankruptcy.”
I am mystified, rattled, “What are you saying?”
“She won’t be selling her condo after all.”
Where do I go from here, I wonder? I run to the wall, the plaster is sliding; I reach to hold it in place. I am chicken little, The sky is falling, the big dipper tilts, a crack appears in the night sky, a strange light appears, as though someone is cutting and pasting the pieces of my life into an indistinguishable form. Nothing is familiar anymore, except the unfamiliar. I go through the motions of living, trying to rebuild, yet like Pinocchio jerked around by strings, the messsages I get are mixed just enough to keep me interested, confused, and more and more sad all the time.
copyright 1999 Sherry M Stewart