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Love Eternal

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Jun. 14th, 2006 | 01:42 am
posted by: nessboy in eclecticart

Song in italics is from songwriter Juan Gabriel; I just translated into English.  The song's title is "Amor Eterno" so I named my story after it.


Love Eternal                                                                                   

You are the sadness of my eyes
That cry in silence for your love
I look in the mirror and see in my face
The time I have suffered your adieu


            He stands in front of the vanity, old and discolored. The sun has not risen yet, and the blue twilight still refrigerates his bones.  He washed his face and dressed casually like always.  While he gently picks up the comb, with the other hand, he wipes the mirror for it is smudgy.  To his surprise, the smudges do not go away; they are emblazoned into the old looking glass.  They were emblazoned by Time’s bony fingers.  With concentration, he stares into the mirror, into his face.  It is carved with age, his teeth yellow and crooked, his hair as thin as his breath.  What is he getting dressed for?  Why is he about to comb his hair?  Maybe it’s just routine or old age. 

            He had moistened his hair when he washed his face in the bathroom, and now the water starts to run down his forehead into his eyes.  Water meshes with tears and now he can’t distinguish between the two.  His trembling hand picks up the comb and he combs his thin silver hair, knowing that no longer is someone to accompany him in the kitchen.  He has discovered that the king size bed is an endless void that swallows him up at night; now there is no one he can hold on to.  No one will pull him out if he falls.  Through the mirror, he sees the messy bed that now seems colossal to him.  Now that she has left sadness in his face.


I oblige that the thought forget you
For I am always thinking of yesterday
I'd rather be asleep than wide awake
For it hurts so much that you're not here 


            The sun’s warm touch lifts the thin veil of sleep that he uses to shield himself.  He gets up without making the bed.  A sense of opportunity and expectation unevenly palpitates in his rib cage.  The light pours in, form the windows in the long hall, making for him a path to walk on.  He makes his way down into the kitchen, whose walls are of old stones and which trap the coolness of the night.  Coffee is on his mind.  He takes out the canister of ground coffee beans and gets the machine ready.  She likes coffee from the machine.  They discovered it two years ago, while walking around in the mall.  For most of their lives, they always drank the one that is just spooned into hot water.  They had always done so, and did not know anything else.  That afternoon, after they had walked in la alameda, they decided to get something to eat at the mall adjacent.  La alameda was one of their favorite places: stone roads and benches, baroque fountains, lots of trees, young couples enjoying their youth under the sad boughs of willows. After their walks in la alameda, they always went to the mall to find something to eat.  The afternoon was light and fresh, for autumn was seeping through.  They walked around, until they found a small café.  For the first time in their lives, they ordered a coffee from a café.  Their humble lives had not led them to the wonders of lattes and flavored coffees.  Looking at the menu for a long time and asking the waiter his advice, they both finally ordered Irish cream cappuccinos.  While they waited for the coffee, they looked around and marbled at the evolution of their humble town.  They still couldn’t believe that a small town perched on a dry hill grew into such a wonderful metropolis, and they had lived to see the change.  The aroma of the coffee hovered around them; the waiter was arriving with their order.  He looked at her, at how her wrinkled face lit up the instant the coffee enveloped her tongue, how the orange light from the lamp posts reflected off the glass table onto her face.  After all those years, she was still beautiful to his eyes.  He got up, asked for some orejas, her favorite sweet bread.  She said that she liked how whimsical it looked: the puffy pastry, wrapped into a spiral that resembled an ear.  His gaze settled upon her once again; she dipped the oreja into the coffee, the pastry gorged on the coffee, and afterwards, she carefully bit off the moistened part.  They planned to visit their oldest daughter in the winter, to get more melon colored roses for the garden, and they decided to buy a coffee machine after their snack.  There, they talked until their coffee stopped steaming and became cold.

            He sits in the stony kitchen, until the coffee becomes as cold as his marrow.  He waits and waits.  She always comes for her coffee after she dresses in the bathroom.  Why is she not coming? 

            Autumn had just anesthetized the trees, to get them ready for winter’s ultimate arrival.  Their leaves were red, orange, and yellow.  The bright colors dotted la alameda and the post-colonial streets.  They both got off the bus and entered the hospital.  She was in pain, but tried to hide it.  The doctor took her in, did some studies.  He paced about in the waiting room, biting his nails, trying to watch the novela with no success.  After an hour, she came out, smiling at him.  It’s going to be all right, she said.  Those words, thundered down his veins, into his heart.  He knew something was to come. He knew that autumn had prepared his wife, like the radiant trees of la alameda. 

            Sitting at the kitchen table, he snaps out of the stupor he contracted under the sheets of his bed.  He realizes why he fell back asleep.  Dreams and memories even plague him in his wake.  He’d rather be in bed than awake, for the present reminds him of the past and makes the future only a bleak possibility.    


I have suffered your absence so much
Since that day until now I am not happy
And even though my conscience is serene
I know I could have done much more for you


            The day after her departure, happiness left too.  Morning was just a reminder of the arduous journey back to bed.  Dinner was a symbol for the solitude that awaited him under the covers.  When she left, he was sure that she had left everything the way she wanted.  She didn’t reproach, only thanked him.  For a wonderful life, for wonderful children, for the gift of letting her know that she was loved and needed.  She made it seem as though he had matched her expectations and more.  She soothed his conscience.  She left with a smile, clutching her cloth scapular. 

            Maybe, if he would have noticed, he could have prevented her parting.  Guilt and what-ifs whirled in his mind like a ravenous murder of crows.  Though she left in tranquility, maybe he could have done more.  More to make her days happier, more that could have stopped her from leaving. 



Obscure solitude I'm living
The same solitude of your sepulcher
You are the love from whom I have
The saddest memento of


            The moon has risen and darkness has swallowed his room.  Morpheus seems to have left with her as well.  Clutching at his old bible, he stares into the emptiness of the ceiling.  Through the open window, he can smell the fragrance of her roses.  Some bushes have started to die; they miss her touch and care.  They distinguish the hands of their caretakers, and they seem to reject his usurpation.  Darkness encloses him, as if in a casket.  Is she experiencing the same darkness in her new home?  Is she waiting for him there, in the loneliness of her abode?  The moon enters uninvited, through the light curtains that flutter with the wind.  The beams crash on a trinket covered in glitter.  It’s a frame that hugs a picture of a young couple sitting on the sands of the ocean.  Underneath, in green, white, and red letters reads Acapulco. 

            They were about twenty when they visited Acapulco.  He had saved some money and she had started teaching at the elementary school.  That summer, they could finally go to Acapulco.  They were amazed by the infinity of the sea.  They splashed in the waves; her black hair shined even more when drenched in sea water.  The warm waters, the hot sand, it was captured by their mind, like a camera captures a photograph.  A man stood under a palm tree and offered to take their picture for two pesos.  He said that they were such a loving and inspiring couple, and so he gave them that frame to go along with their picture.  Years afterward, that memento was one of the happiest jewels in his collection. 

            Now, absence and void tainted the picture with sorrow and longing.  That happy memento from Acapulco became a beacon of the saddest kind.      


How I would love it if you still lived
That your little eyes had never closed
And I could see them still


            It has been a year after her passing, and he still suffers the sorrows of dawn.  He longs for her eyes, for her gaze.  He would give all his possessions to see them again, too look at them still.  His children visit him often.  Ask him to move in with them; it will make him good.  But he refuses like a difficult child; he shall stay for she will come looking for him there.  She is like the dove that left the ark to gaze beyond the world.  She shall bring back a sign which will tell him that it is all right to part as well. 

            The next day, he stays in bed.  His body feels heavy, in synchronicity with his heart.  Lately, his heart aches more than usual.  The sun has settled in the top of the sphere and showers all with its rays.  He pours a continuous and blank stare towards his window, longing for relief from the links of mundane affliction that weigh him down every morning.  Like the refreshment of sudden rain, the rustling of wings shatters the solemn silence of his day.  A pigeon lands on the window.  Its beautiful gray plumage shimmers with the amalgamation three: blue, green, and violet.  The beautiful hues jump into his eyes and somehow pacify his misery.   In its beak, it carries a white chrysanthemum petal; she drops it onto the marble floor of the room. 

            Happiness, relief, understanding, it all settles on his eyelids, making them heavy…too heavy for him to hold them open.  This is the sign.  This is the key to the portal that will lead to her.  Soon, he will hold her in his arms.  He will love her again in the ivory sands of Eternity. 


Eternal love and unforgettable
Sooner or later I will be with you
To keep on loving each other

*El Fin*

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