The monsoon rains come like a blessing, relieving the hot humidity, building the lushness of the rice terraces. Green everywhere. Energetic monkeys in the sacred monkey forest grab my postcards from my hands, leave teethmarks that will delight your children more than anything I might say in the postcards I send as recompense for the father I have taken off with me to another part of the world.
We grow into these long hot humid afternoons that are washed away for a mere hour or so by the seasonal rains. Shedding clothes like years, we live naked underneath sarongs wrapped tightly for security. You sit on the porch, your soon-to-be-old man’s furry pot belly proudly obscuring the tightly wound tuck of your sarong. Over twenty years later, it is that sarong made into a jalaba that I now wear almost daily, hiding my soon-to-be-old lady’s pot as well.
How I cope with growing old without you is to sift through these memories like playing cards or photos fallen from old albums that have lost their ability to secure. As gullible as upon our first meeting, I wipe away your inadequacies as I’m sure you would have forgotten mine if you had been the one left sorting the fallen memories in the bottom of the album box.
Monsoons, I have been told, blow both moist and dry, as we did over those fifteen years. But we endured and built each other, coping as all of those in marriages judged successful by their lasting power do. Today you are the photo fallen from the album to the floor. Quickly, as you fell from my life, I tuck you back securely into your correct place, placing on top new albums with new memories built on the foundation of you and all those memories a life, in the end, is made of. You slip into that middle place old loved ones eventually are relegated to. Our way to cope. Our way to live life instead of merely remembering it. Because that is what life is. We keep trying. We keep on.
The grab bag of prompts today were cope, monsoon, gullible and energetic. Here are the links in case you’d like to play along: