An extract of something I’ve just started working on…Let me know what you think.
We’re all just passing through. That’s what Brianna used to say. A lattice of arms and legs and hearts and chests. People, in all their parts pushed through from one generation to the other. An amalgamation of thoughts and feelings, brows and lashes and ear lobes and noses and shadows from former rights and wrongs. We’re all the sum of parts. How I see it though, how I hear it most… we’re all echoes of each other. Reverberating through time.
Karina thought it was more like monkey bars. Life. We’ve all got one arm extended to latch onto the next rung. Time and being defined by a chain of people clutching onto life with their hands, while the ones behind them just let it go. Falling like dust to the ground.
Poignant really. When you think about how she left this world. A leap of faith. All of it left to chance. We’ll get to that part later.
I prefer Brianna’s terminology. Just passing through, she’d say. And a woman like Brianna, well, she had to announce it. She was just shy of being clinically obese. You had to move out of her way if she wanted to pass through anything. It sounds nicer too. Don’t you think? You can’t take anything too seriously if you’re just passing. No one’s able to stay at the party forever. Take what you want from it all and keep going along your merry way. That was how she thought. That kind of philosophy, it takes a certain level of commitment. To stay circumspect. Apart. Turns out what Brianna most wanted to take from it was extra portions of chips and chocolate.
Each to their own.
Let’s start with a memory. The wood is being chopped up in the garden. Dad has an axe and is making these big swooping movements with this arms, a semi circle that splits the logs and has them shooting off in different directions. He was so strong back then. I was transfixed. I was sat watching from the steps in the front garden and waiting for the sound of traffic to pass by the house. I liked the sound the cars made as their sleek shapes broke through the air and their tyres spoke to the tarmac.
That day, was the same day that Raffy went missing. And that was a big concern, particularly for Mum, because Raffy was deaf. He wasn’t able to hear the cars whip through the stillness, or hear the hushed conversation of the wheels. I remember she was so worried he was going to be run over. Except that if he got run over, he wouldn’t resurrect himself like Tom & Jerry. Or like Jesus.
The next part of that memory is mum shouting in the garden. Shouting at dad to get in the van and start looking for Raffy. He couldn’t be far she kept saying. He can’t be far.
I don’t remember them finding him. I don’t remember the phone ringing and ringing or the Police arriving or the Snoopy lunchbox being returned, filled with his favourite pens and Transformer figures and a Satsuma and a Penguin bar. But I know these are things that happened. And I know that was the day he messed up his walk for good. I just remember a feeling. Like everything changed that day.