Tuesday, July 03, 2012

24th and Mission

This time, for the first time, he says nothing.

We are walking.  It's very cold in the Mission tonight.  Something like 45 degrees.  I would say I'm alone and it would look like it but in weird way I'm never alone.  Especially now.

I'm wearing my Raybans.  The people are dark and shadowy particularly where there are no street lights.  I'm grateful for it.  It's about 9:45 pm.

"I want to die," I say.  I don't expect an answer and I don't get one.  I keep walking forward glad to be wearing the ankle bandage on my left foot.  Helps me walk normally.  I'm staring straight ahead, like a horse with blinders on.  I'm moving down Valencia towards the BART station.

"I was unfriended.  I think it's to be expected," I say.  This statement seems to come out of left field.

"You hate FaceBook anyway."

I turn to him.  "Mr. Gryphon, how about if I create an identity for you on FaceBook.  I could give you status updates, post pictures of us, things like that."  He turns to me and barely smiles.  It's been a long time since we've been together.

"All of us...we all miss you, Miss Turtle."

I ignore this comment.  I've made a left on 24th street and am about to pass an alleyway to my right.  The pain wrenches through my heart like dull knife.   I turn towards him to keep my tears from spilling.  "Happy endings, and not those sexual kind either."

"What about them?"

"Think of the concept of living happily ever after.  Certain people can and will do so.  It's inevitable but since I can't."  I stop and lay my hands on my upper chest.  "Since there are no happy endings for Miss Turtle and there never will be then it makes sense that all my characters are guaranteed happy endings.  Don't you think that a fair bit of compromise."  It takes a huge effort to say this and my voice starts cracking.

Mr. Gryphon just stares at me.  "We...miss...you."

I turn away from him and continue to walk towards the BART station.  I am reminded of that time when I was waiting for a BART train at Glen Park years ago and was standing on the platform crying.  Really crying.  Leaning against a pole and how nobody asked me if I was okay.  I wrote about that here.

I get to the BART stairs and pause.

"No, Miss Turtle, you are not going to trip and fall down the stairs."

"I think about it a lot.  I think how tragic it would be if I fell down these stairs and broke my neck.  My ankles are weak anyway."  I smile up at him.  "Just think, you and I will be together forever with all our friends and the other characters.  The stories will continue."  I smile up at him but real tears are streaking down my face.

"You're not going to break your neck," he says.  "Not now.  You're not going to die for a very long time."

"There are no happy endings for me, Mr. Gryphon.  Only the ones I make up for myself."


"I'm surprised you agree with me."

"That's just it, Miss Turtle.  There will be happy endings and they will be the ones you make up for yourself.  A happy ending doesn't happen like some random event.  It's something you choose for yourself and your ability to imagine and choose is the most powerful thing about you."

"What are you?  My guru?"  I am carefully stepping down the long flight of stairs.  It seems like the damn escalator has been broken for months.

He sighs but doesn't reply.  I press my Clipper card against the sensor and walk through the gate.  He merely leaps over the barrier.  No one notices him though a homeless man does a double take then turns away, shaking his head.

"Did he see you?"

"Not sure.  Sometimes they catch a glimpse, it seems, but only your other imaginary friends and characters can see me."

I look up at him.  He's still human.  I wonder what the hell I'm doing to do about that but decide the solution or resolution, as it were, will come in time.

*Note:  This was written several months ago.


Jo Jardin said...

I'm glad you posted it now...I needed that.

P.S. - I still stand by a theory regarding the Bay Area. In San Francisco if I look distressed, people think I'm nuts. If I look distressed in San Jose mass transit, there's no one around to see me. Either way, what should be the most public grief becomes the most private.

Here in the Cove, everyone watches me like a hawk, so Mr. Gryphon wouldn't visit me.

Mock Turtle said...

Thanks for this compliment. I'm always wary about these kinds of posts. I keep thinking they're too personal and emotional but I liked how it expressed how I was feeling at the time.

I LOVE your theory about how the most public grief becomes the most private. That's so true. It's an extension of being alone in the crowd.

Watch you like a hawk? That's like being under a public microscope, eh?

Jo Jardin said...

Or in a very public fishbowl, yes. :)