Walhydra knows she is not the only person ever to have parents die. She knows she is not the only one to realize that she is mortal.
But she is trying to be observant.
At bedtime last night, she told hubby Jim, “I seem to be going through an inventory of all the things that can go wrong with my body.”
This while trying to stretch out the lower back ache exacerbated by the mushy, too-old bed, now elevated at the head to counter the resurgent reflux, for which she cannot yet reschedule the canceled upper GI endoscopy because, a week later, she is still trying to clear the gunk from a bronchial cold.
But the cutting part of this, she knows, comes after, when she cuddles against his back, pressing as close as possible, silent, almost in tears, because she knows he, too, will die, as she will.
Every work day, Walhydra walks from the her car past the people in the park behind the Main Library who sit, huddled in all their clothes, surrounded by lives kept in bags which look like random garbage to the stranger.
Every day, she reads about another woman gang-raped in India, or another funeral procession slaughtered in Pakistan.
Every day, she sits, centering down in her clumsy, Quaker-Buddhist-ish way, calling herself back to the moment.
“Oh, it’s you,” she says.
“Of course it is, dear,” the Goddess answers. “When am I never not here?”
Don’t be silly. Go hug your husband and get some breakfast.”
And so it is.
Michael Bright Crow