WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Monday, May 27, 2019

Day of the Dead.

The dead are with us. Always. Everywhere.

Part I

Hector and Gabriela visited the old cemetery; a place of stone, trees, grass. It was a sunny day. The stone monuments glimmered, the grass was thick green. They drove their car to the resting place of one of their dead. There were a few other visitors. The old man  was there. Any day, any time of the day, he is always near where his wife and daughter are buried. Sometimes he sits in his car doing crossword puzzles, or listens to the the classical music station on the car radio. Today he was standing with another man next to an old pickup truck. Hector and Gabriela parked their car, exited, stretching a bit after a long ride. Gabriela was carrying a pair of scissors and a bouquet of flowers. She walked over to the old man and exchanged greetings.

Hector waited, staring into the sun. It blinded him for a moment. All he saw was light all around him. Gabriela came back to him and they walked to the grave. Hector sat down in the shade of a tree, he sat Indian-style, legs crossed, he closed his eyes, emptied his head. Gabriela trimmed the grass from around the grave marker, it was nestled in deep, green grass. She then laid out the flowers in a circular pattern, big yellow flowers, each like a little sun creating a small circle of suns.

They sat in silence for a long time. The wind lightly blowing through the trees the only sound. No words. A few teardrops fell from Gabriela's eyes. Hector could feel a surge of energy course through his body. It was like the wind blowing lightly through the trees, but he was the tree, his arms and legs the branches. Time passed. Time stood still.

They rose together and hugged each other in the shade of the tree. They walked back to the car. No words. They drove the small winding cemetery road, passing hundreds of stone monuments & gravestones. Hector's cell phone rang. He took it out of his pocket and saw no call, no number, and  no missed call message. He frowned at the phone and put it back in his pocket.


Part II

The next day Hector and Gabriela were on the train heading to the city. They were heading to one of their favorite restaurants, and then off to a theatrical production. They meditated together. It was their usual practice. Eyes closed, sitting in silence, deep breaths on public transportation. Hector was totally exhausted. Weary. So weary. More than weary. He could feel himself sinking under the weight of an enormous weariness.

He turned to Gabriela and said, "I'm fading away." She looked at him, concerned. "I am so, so weary. I am more than weary. It's like I am carrying the weariness of all those dead souls we visited yesterday. Can it be? Can it be that I am carrying the weariness of all the dead?"

Gabriela said, "It could be." And then Hector said, "I was thinking about that phone call yesterday. Who do you think it was calling me?" Gabriela replied, "It could be anyone. Maybe your father?"

Hector nodded. "Yes." He continued to sink deeper under the weight of this enormous weariness. His father had been dead for years. He could feel the enormous, endless, always growing weariness pressing down on him. He could feel his own weariness accumulated over the  many years of his life, the weariness of those he knew and touched, the weariness of all those he ever knew or touched, the weariness of those still living, of those long dead, of people he never knew, never met, people long, long, gone. He felt like he was beneath an ocean of weariness, under a volcano of weariness, in a place of deep, serious, heaviness, a heaviness beyond heaviness.

Gabriela said, "Hector, stay with me." Hector could see himself rising up from his seat, he could feel his body falling away into little particles, he could see his flesh becoming iridescent, his bones disappearing, becoming a small breeze passing through the train car.  Gabriela said, "Maybe it's better to take it all in, embrace it, don't let it go, just go into it?" As she said these words, Hector could feel his body coming back to him, he noticed his fingers & toes, his arm & legs; he was whole, he was inside his body once again. It happened instantly.

Hector, said, "Yes, that's right. Go into it. That feels right." The weariness didn't dissipate, he could still feel it pressing down on him, but it felt like it belonged to him now. Outside and inside, the same. The train arrived at their stop. They exited the train. Gabriela reached out to hold Hector's hand. They walked gently, silently into the shimmering, waiting day.

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