Saturday, January 05, 2008

By the sea


The first thing that runs through your mind when woken up at 1.30 in the morning and being told that someone you love is dead is “I really should be feeling more cut up about this.

You think - I really loved him, so why the hell aren’t I tearing my hair out and rolling around on the floor? Moments pass. The bearer of these sad tidings watches you carefully. They’re wondering the exact same thing. Okay, thinks the messenger. Wait for it. Waiiiit for it. Waaaaaaiiiiit for iiiiit….

Nothing happens.

I tell myself that I’m in shock. That it’ll hit me eventually. Just not now. I’m not cold and heartless. I’m not. I’m just in shock.

I suppose this is natural. If there is even such a thing.

Natural is the sun rising in the east. Natural is feeling cold during the winter. Natural is what comes up must come down. Natural is every action must have an equal and opposite reaction. Natural is when ice floats.

I don’t know a damned thing about “natural”.

Are emotions ever natural? On one hand you can argue that to feel intense emotion is a natural thing. Something inescapable. On the other, you can argue that violent fits of passion are unnatural, dangerous things. Emotions reserved for psychopaths. People who can turn a pair of tweezers into a deadly weapon.

I sit back and tentatively allow this wave unsettling calm wash over me. Is it normal that I’m not afraid? That I’m not crying?

Waiiiit for iiiit…


The day is cloudy and overcast. Perfect funeral conditions. The ride up is quiet, mostly. And when I say quiet, what I really mean that every thought in my head has tripled in volume. The radio is maddening static, hissing and cackling like fireworks. We cannot tolerate this madness. We cannot tolerate this madness, emotion.

“I can’t believe he’s dead,” she says, and I want to claw her eyes out.

Emotion does this to you, I suppose. Maddening emotion.

I’m waiting for the explosion,

But nothing happens.

I suppose this is natural, if there is even such a thing.

Waiiit for iiit…


It’s the little things you miss the most. The stupid things. The things you took for granted. The things you loved the most without even realizing it. The stupid smiling eyes. The clumsiness. The bully in him. The way he turned the whole house upside down. Chaos personified.

‘Little brother’, we called him.



We stop to buy flowers. He loved flowers. He loved to pee on them. Sometimes, if there wasn’t enough rain, the plants would wither and die. What a way to die – to have drowned in his urine.

But that rarely happened. After all, an up-country drought would be like an unrigged “democratic” election; like a perfect banana; like me handing in homework on time –

Ie: highly unlikely.

Everyone who hears is in tears. But not me. I tell myself this is natural. That it will hit me eventually.

Waiiit for it…


We bury him on the bank just above the vegetable garden, below the peach tree, surrounded by haleconias. It starts to drizzle. The sky is cloudy and overcast; perfect funeral conditions. The wind bites our skin as it whizzes past our cheeks. The cold is percolating our bones. We’re shivering but refuse to move until the deed is done.

GG is digs furiously. Chocolate-brown earth flies past his face, red and clammy. I can’t tell if he’s crying because the rain gets in the way, blurring the details; making the scene a little more surreal.

I’m waiting for the explosion. There’s something glowing white-hot inside of me, threatening to push past the numb disbelief and make its’ grand entrance. As sibling places flowers and incense at his head, the white-hot glow intensifies.

This is it, I think.

But there is no explosion.

The pressure that’s built up in my chest deflates like a balloon.

Disappointing anticlimax.

It’s only after I turn and walk away that I realize I’ve been crying. I suppose there was an explosion of white-hot emotion after all, only it was silent, like an explosion in space; in a vacuum.

Just because the explosion is silent doesn’t mean it never happened.

I cannot tolerate this madness, emotion.

Maddening emotion.

I berate myself for being a drama queen; for being melodramatic and hypersensitive. I tell myself that I’ll be perfectly fine. That I’m probably caught up in the moment and that I probably don’t give a damn he’s dead at all.

I realize that I loved him without realizing it.

He was just a damn dog.

I wipe the tears from my cheeks, square my shoulders and walk inside for a cup of well-earned coffee.

He lies on the bank just above the vegetable garden, below the peach tree, surrounded by haleconias, covered in wet earth.

I tell myself I’m fine. I ignore the pressure in my chest and complain about the cold.

I ignore him as well,

And pretend this never happened.

I suppose this is natural, if there is even such a thing.