Monday, March 07, 2016

Friendly ghosts

Through my work “week” of 12-hour night shifts, all my real time is spent at the office where I am very comfortable and happy and productive and getting paid to do a little bit of The Man’s work (which I welcome) and a lot of my own work (which is a joy) and there I eat my meals and watch my daily movie. At home, in my short twelve hours between shifts, I am just in bed sleeping or trying to sleep.

Saturday, I awoke and made myself at home in my home for the first time in a while. These are the times I would normally have chatted with the Liberal Theologian over coffee. My heart felt heavy in her absence yesterday, the heaviest yet since her passing a year ago.

After a while I realized why: because we would have been talking about the latest news from our dear friends. Aqualad has been accepted at MacMaster University; a critical step in the long road to becoming a veterinarian; the singular dream he has nurtured since early childhood!

L.T. and I would have been talking about him and how special he is and how much we love him and his moms too; Earthwriter and Dog Whisperer, and that would have been such a joyful conversation!

But wait.

Why do I say that it would have been?

Where did L.T. go, after all? Her body was turned to cinders and put in a box. Is that my friend in the box? I was not friends with her material form. Our connections happened in the air; in our ears. The agents of our minds connected through language. Those connections are not in the box. They have remained.

I realized today “People live on in our memory” is not just some platitude; not some trick to ease pain. None of the substance of our friendship went in the box. Her words remain in my head as real as they were when she first spoke them. Feelings remain. Sights remain.

What is friendship? What are human connections? These things are not material. They continue to affect me. My brain’s rewiring with each and every observation of her, they are not reversed upon her death. Her effects live on.

Her physical body meant nothing to me; only the things we shared. Our friendship consisted of energy and interpretations. They are not in the box. They are real and eternal and they apply themselves now to these new affairs which make me happy! I am having the joyful conversation after all.

She is still in my mind as real as ever, and there in my mind we are having the conversation.

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