I’ve always imagined that one of these nights I’d see my mother’s ghost. I would welcome the sight welcome she that bore me, not she that stepped in in a way,absolving my birth mother of her sin, while assuming adopting me would make her complete.
She hasn’t visited yet, neither has done so, but I hold out hope, it is after all the last to go, and I do hear her voice, faint and all too distant, sounding very much like my own one instant and then no more than a faint whisper in retreat.
I don’t need a long conversation, a few words would more than suffice, but some at least, a child should in advancing age hear the sound of a mother’s voice, if only to find solace in the fact that her choice to yield the child was made from love not defeat.
At the coffee shop they chatter as if in some foreign tongue, conversations overlaid one on another on another, until all I can strain are snippets of words, stray syllables. This is true everywhere I have visited, and it promises good coffee, for I have found that when I can easily eavesdrop on others at nearby tables, it is because the espresso maker has gone silent too long, there are few present, and I will regret the coffee shortly after drinking it.
The conversation flows freely, piles up on the table, amid dishes from a meal now fully consumed, as the last of the wine reluctantly cedes its grip on the bottle and settles into the glasses. In Abruzzi, the vintner imagined this, staring at the grapes pulled lovingly from the now ancient vines. As night draws its curtain ever tighter, as hugs replace the conversation, the rest of the grapes settle in for a final sleep.
The last time we spoke you asked me when the end was coming. I didn’t have a good answer for you, wasn’t even quite sure what you meant by the question, the end of what? Of time, of your life or mine, or merely the end of a conversation we had been carrying on for as long as either of us could remember. That was some time ago and I have thought about your question quite frequently and seeing you today, you walking by me without acknowledging me, I realize the answer should have been and most certainly now is that the end came the moment you started your question.
Dreams are a place where the dead are free to walk about, where they speak in voices barely recalled, but which seem so familiar to the ear. They are willing to engage you in conversations left unfinished, you are always surprised at what they have to say, at how it is not at all what you expected or wished from them. You tolerate this in your dreams because you know that you will soon awaken, and the dead will retreat from the sun to await the dark night’s return.
“We created time,” he said, “so we are free to ignore it whenever we wish, don’t tell me that I am late, for that is only by your clock and you should know that most clocks are never right. It is only the stopped clock that is right, and that only twice each day.” We nervously stared at our watches, finally saying, “so sorry but we are late for something critical, and will see you tomorrow, same time, same place.”