Sunday August 21, 2005
Today is the 50th birthday of Roy Rockabilly..
He lifted up the dusty lid of his piano which was sitting like a ghastly apparition in the living room for a long time, and started to touch the white and black keys with his trembling fingers. He was not crying, because the tears had already dried up since his wife Martha departed, several years ago.. he was not trying to play any particular melody, instead, he just yearned to hear how the keys used to sound… soon he abandoned the futile attempt and shuffled his way to the back yard porch .. as he was about to reach his rocking chair, he just remembered that he left his coffee in the kitchen.. so he pulled himself back to the kitchen, got his half full coffee mug and looked again to see that he had cleaned the mess he created on the floor and the kitchen table while making his coffee with his shaky hands. On his way a second time to the back yard, he looked again at the piano.. leaned on it for a while to rest… and closed his eyes trying to remember how it was when he was in his prime, playing those keys like a wizard.. “today is Sunday, I would be leading the choir in church in those glorious melodies” He thought. A fleeting smile crossed his face and he mumbled, “they all but forgot about me now… nothing lasts forever, and I guess, nobody is indispensable.. they must have found a much better person.”
He finally reached his rocking chair and sat there sipping his coffee and watching the few birds landing on the grass near the pool.
It was a bright sunny morning, though rain was in the forecast… he thought, “well, I have already lived on this earth for half a century. It is a landmark which I should celebrate.. should I get a cake? Alone? Nah…. I once heard someone say a banquet for one is the most miserable thing that can happen to that person… or.. oh, it was I who wrote that in my notebook.”
The phone rang, his heart sank into an ocean of pain. He was almost sure that the caller was not anyone he wanted to talk to… it turned out to be a person from his old school collecting donations for the “Alumni reunion party.” After he hang up, he thought of some of those friends from school… especially that one who made it big … big investment banker, big house and big family… and oh, how the big friend tried everything to avoid him because he thought that “poor” old Roy would envy his success.
“enough of that already,” he thought, “ever since Martha died four years ago, or was it five ? anyway, everybody started disappearing one by one for one reason or another. As if they were all coming to see my wife and not me.”
He noticed his notebook sitting on the table nearby, where he left it the day before.. He reached out and picked it up.. he had recorded most of his notes for the presentations and compositions for the church service in that notebook. Ah, chucks, he realized that he left his glasses in the bedroom upstairs… yet he thumped through the papers and opened it at one of the pages … bringing the paper close to his face, he read the words before him with a heavy heart… “Many of us deal with our friends and even with God Himself, like we deal with the plumber. We only call upon them when we badly need them in an emergency.. once the emergency is over we totally forget they even existed… you do not call upon your plumber to ask about his health, watch a sports game together or go out to dinner… that is unless that plumber happens to be a dear and beloved true friend”
A sad smile lingered on his face for a while when he remembered that Martha’s brother is still suing him for some inheritance which he never asked for or even wanted. He was advised to pursue the matter for the sake of his daughter. Oh, where is Rosie now? She had left to join her band of musicians who were trekking around the country, playing in different venues and dreaming of stardom, riches and fame. “She only calls when she needs some money..” he recalled.
A couple of squirrels came close and stared at him for a moment and then ran away. This time he uttered the words out loud “OH, I wish I could see them better … darn, I forgot my glasses on the nightstand upstairs”
After a while, a mild breeze stirred the leaves of the only tree in the yard, and a slight spray of rain shower began to wet his face and clothes although the sun was still stubbornly sending his golden rays through the gathering clouds. He kind of enjoyed the freshness surrounding him, so he started rocking his chair gently… and slowly noticed a beautiful lady dressed up in the old-fashioned white and blue silk garments with her shimmering cloak flowing around her and gracefully catching the golden rays of the sun … she was approaching him and stopped at a distance with an outstretched arm inviting him to join her… he was amazed, and completely taken aback by the magnificence surrounding her, so he hesitated.. then he tried to pull himself out of the rocking chair, and again was surprised how easily he could move… he was pleased to see everything clearly now… a feeling of euphoria and elation slowly replaced the heaviness and gloom…
The squirrels were much closer and stood there mesmerized looking at him… oh.. what? looking at him..? he … was looking at himself .. he was asleep.. ? is he dreaming? Now one of the audacious squirrels jumped on his knee and caused the rocking chair to tilt forward… whoa… his body leaned forward and gradually slipped out of the chair and onto the ground.. he did not wake up, and did not feel any pain… !!!
Sunday, September 26th, 2005
Rosemary Rockabilly got out of her car and walked gingerly towards the grave of her father. She was carrying a single red rose, and she was not crying.. she just stood there and her thoughts were racing in her head, “you dumb old man.. you just left and .. you just left all these problems for me…the house, the car..” Then she noticed the stranger standing on her right side crying bitterly over another person’s grave. She was astonished. It seemed like her stare was noticed, and the weeping lady turned to her saying, “I am sorry… I brought all these flowers and just realized I never brought him any flowers when he was alive… when he would really enjoy them and see how much I loved him. I was cruel and self-centered while he tried very hard to reach out to me… now it is too late … too late.. I am sorry” she kept sobbing and crying.
Rosie was still carrying her red rose in her hand.. she was completely stunned.. she let the rose drop to the ground and backtracked her way slowly towards her car.
What good is the rose on the grave…!!!?