Leaving Home

A bomb went off in our lives, blowing everything we had built to smithereens. Including you. And that left me here, amid the rubble, on my own.

I walked through the house this afternoon. A bittersweet, conflicted journey through the halls and rooms of our home. I see the good times, the old times. And I see how it is now.

In your recording studio I expect to see you at the console, headphones on, moving in the semi-darkness to the beat of your mystical soul, lost in your creation, your essence filling the room. That is what I remember. But what I see reminds me of those scenes on the six o”clock news of a home devastated by a tornado. Furniture and boxes piled up, a few lonely posters left on the wall, yet to be taken down and rolled up. You don”t play here anymore.

On the deck I expect to see you, martini in hand, supervising the grilling of your world-famous salmon. Laughing with friends, winking at me when you catch my eye, and looking up to the sky as dusk falls, watchful for the first star to appear. That”s what I remember. But what I see is deck bereft now of barbeque and patio furniture, and I cannot shake the picture of me, leaning up against the wall on the night your operation went so wrong, weeping silently. You don’t stargaze here anymore.

In the living room I expect to see you sitting in your chair, head back, nodding off “just for a moment” as I smile tenderly at your whacked out body clock so out of synch with mine and reach for the remote to turn the sound down a little so you can sleep. That”s what I remember. But I what I see is your picture on the mantle and the trunk I bought for all your personal effects. You don”t sleep here anymore.

In the backyard I expect to see you with your camera, photographing the flowers you planted, smelling the roses. That”s what I remember. But what I see are neglected flowerbeds and the remains of the crocuses and daffodils you planted last year for me. You don’t garden here anymore.

In the kitchen I expect to see you making eggs benny on a Sunday morning, the light of the sun dancing over your face as you labour with love in your quest for the perfect hollandaise sauce. That is what I remember. But what I see is a room mostly unused for nine months and the telephone I held when I heard the words “Bob died.” You don”t live here anymore.

And as of this week, neither will I.

© April 5, 2003