You drop everything and go. It’s what you do when someone you love is dying. The distance between, suddenly a feasible illusion. In the gray drab of the airport garage, you drive in circles, an ascending spiral towards…. nirvana, you hope, but just one lousy parking spot will do. Your stomach contents somersault with each passing floor when you finally reach the top. Heaven?
The radio comes on as you park in G44, sudden and loud, Mendelssohn you recognize just before an unyielding fugue blankets you. Staring at the cement wall through your spotty windshield, you think of him, and how he moved so slowly, so haltingly through the last hard days of his life. Alone. The Violin Concerto gets louder, faster, more urgent and you can’t stop crying. When you arrive at the ticket counter, you have to shut your brain off, stop thinking. Switching to auto-pilot mode in 3…2…1.
You provide all the essentials to the agent, indifferent to her sympathetic eyes and kind smile, her hair ablaze a sunset red. Have a nice flight, ma’am, she says, handing you your boarding pass. Thanks, you too, you answer, feeling like an idiot before making your way to the gate.
The concerto continues even now, months later, hitting a crescendo when you least expect it. Eating a salad for lunch. Folding still-warm towels out of the dryer. Washing your body in the shower, imagining how corroded the inside of his body had gotten, his lungs so badly scarred it was agony with each inhale and exhale, something you do 22,000 times a day with unblinking ease.
Death is gruesome. A fact that is severe and dangerous, like a refrain in E Minor. Your hands are cold, but not as cold as his, and you hate this music now as it continues to flood the confined insides of your consciousness. Memories, tenacious and abundant like the Boston ivy growing on the side of the house, cling to you like the scaling notes, ascending upwards, upwards, past your being, past your existence, blooming into a lenticular cloud in another universe.