Not Really Alone

Today I sit in a reasonably nice hotel room in Guadalajara, Mexico. “Oh, Guadalajara,” you say! “How nice!”

Yes, it is nice. Well, I don’t know about Guadalajara being nice because my hotel room is not in any tourist section of town. The name of it is Ejecutivo Express. (Executive Express). I’m spending my days waiting for my own Ejecutivo to return for the day’s main meal. The Comida. Usually a few hours earlier than we in the US would have our dinner.

If I had a game, I am off of it. I didn’t plan on going to Guadalajara. It happened quickly. My Ejecutivo has a new job. I cancelled all of the events in Mexico City that I had this week so that I could join him as he started this new chapter. I even read a book for a book club meeting that I will now miss. But oh well, so much for trying to make friends in Mexico City. Maybe that won’t be where I will be living anyway. So what is the point? Maybe sitting in this hotel room is enough for me right now.

You see, my Ejecutivo left his job for me last October. He came to live with me in Washington State while I underwent treatment for ovarian cancer. It was a difficult time for both of us. I became his job.

I had never meant everything to someone before. Not in this way. My life was on the line. So my Ejecutivo stepped out on it with me.

Now, it is my turn to support him. Lift him with a smile or a hand on his back while he drives.

But, you see, there is something about Guadalajara. Something that is keeping me in my room.

I was here on my own for a few days back in 1983, just after graduating college. I was living with my Ejecutivo in Mexico City, but back then he was a young engineer just getting started. I didn’t have plans for a job. I simply decided to move to Mexico City for several months and live with my young engineer just getting started. My parents smiled, held their tongues and helped me move. They knew better I guess. They knew that young love, or any love, motors us along like a driverless car. We just hope we know where we are when we get off.

Back in 1983, he didn’t join me when I went to Guadalajara. He had to work. Just like he has to work now. But it makes me sad to be in Guadalajara because it reminds me of a time we didn’t share together and then of the next 25 years we didn’t share together because we eventually broke up.

Since this blog is about remembering and writing, and, oh yes, remembering to write, the following is a poem I wrote while traveling on a train in Norway down into the fjords.

This is for anyone who has lost someone in the arena of love at least once. And though I was in Norway when I wrote it, lost battles of love pop up everywhere, even when you are with the one you love. Even in Guadalajara.

Note: The poem came into my head after I overheard in the elevator a conversation between a mother and her son about the weather.  After that, I boarded the train.

Did it rain last night?
Yes.
Did it rain in London?
I don’t know.

Drums of steel
fill me with a hollow hum
that doesn’t sound like you
when I’m inside.

Gray over here
is the same as gray over there.
Sometimes darker.
Half-built bridges, lives stranded.
Never fully lived.
Just paces from the unfinished brink.

The air is the same over here as over there.

Your gaze spans the space between us.
Then I look away.
Eyes locked on a passing ship, strangers pointing at me, taking pictures, waving, gasping, telling me I will fall.

You’re gone.
Did you head back to the road?
Or did a lost Lorelei hide you?
Seducing you with her twisted and glistening stream
trailing down from above.
Did she cover your calls to me with her chatter?
Did you step into the glassy void,
dreaming that I would save the best of you?

I see mist rising from the surface.
Is that you?
Or, just drowning fragments of a life we didn’t finish?

In water, there is nothing
to erase.

Did it rain last night?
Yes.
Did it rain in London?
I don’t know.

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