in the days that followed our arrival, the hot desert sun seemed to melt the tentative sorrow that made our connecting so painful. if only for a few hours, we savoured the each other's quiet company, as we trekked up the Rock, visiting the barbery apes. we spoke of our setting - searing heat, chic-chaks, drinking from Coke cans labelled in South Africa, the awe of standing at the southern-most point of europe and looking out, across the strait of gibraltar, to the continent of africa.
we did not speak of all those things lingered like a pungent aroma ... grief, rage, regret, the kind that bind a spirit so tightly it grows numb ... this sick craving growing inside me - the one that makes me want to replace the child i've lost ... seeking ... anything at all ... to fill the gaping, ugly hole that remains in death's wake. rejecting ... anything at all ... that somehow represented my loss.
we did not speak of the child we still had - the surviving son ... the child who fell away, like a grain of sand falls through fingers, the child who seemed to lose his parents when his brother died ... who hides his anguish beneath a sea of anger that strikes others the way a shard of glass strikes a plump, ripe tomato. the child i found myself unable to look at ... in his young, tender face lurked the ghost of his brother. in silent shame i wondered how many mothers found themselves unable to look at, or love, their own child. i also wondered how mothers who had lost could continue mothering. i ... could not ... continue ... like ... this.
on those days we spent with ourselves, my mona lisa man spent time with his sail boat, preparing her for the year's first trip. evenings unfolded in random, unpredictable ways ... but always the three of us, together ... and time flowed like molten lava, oozing, liquid, intense. desire enveloped me like a thick, lingering fog ... lust and longing cast a deep, dark shadow, colouring every droplet of time.
on other days, i withdrew, taking solitary time to explore the town, while the brothers spent time rebuilding what time and the winds of life had eroded. seeing them side-by-side, the two men who have explored the most tender curves of my being, simply took my breath away ... their gestures ... movements ... the lines etched in their hands ... the curve of their lips ... those green eyes ... and ... the sweetly exotic hue of their voices ... the sibling connection - striking. striking ... also ... the choice facing me ... the man who stirs my soul versus the man who spent years weaving the fabric of my soul ... a soul that has felt limp and lethargic until very recently.