Imagine That is True
Technically, Martin died of a stroke. The sound of his head hitting the floor pierced the silence. By the time the ice cubes from his Manhattan came to a gentle stop on the immaculate hardwood, he had arrived, and was sitting comfortably in the wing back by the fire. He was relieved that his body had landed neatly, his face peaceful. Satisfied, he waited, enjoying the quiet.
Three days later, she arrived too. Home from Seattle, relaxed by the success of meetings gone well, she fell to the floor beside the body. He stood gently behind her. With his heart, he guided her to the phone, and dialed the ambulance. He whispered the words in her hear, requesting them to come. And then they waited, together, absorbing the quiet.
The glow of the sun setting stretched across the floor, drawing the stain of his Manhattan to a close.
This is how I imagined Martin’s death had occurred. Sudden, peaceful, and righteous. Extraordinary in it’s deliverance. The scatter and the shock had been airbrushed, allowing the smooth exhale that comes immediately after acceptance. In the exchange between magnificent friends there is a knowing about the dangers of loss. There is an agreement concerning the inevitable when those contracts are created. We arrive in a way, prepared already, the connection, light as a feather, floats intact, returning to the base of the spine and informs our own survival. We remain, completed by the inhale, reabsorbed by life itself.
Forty-three days later, I received a package. I poured red wine into a heavy crystal glass, pausing into its rich fragrance. I sat gently at my desk, found the quiet in the air, and slid a knife along the tape. I then opened the inner envelope, and pulled out a book, bound crisply in what appeared to be linen. It was grey-blue and handmade. I read the letter attached, from Martin’s wife, explaining that he had left this in his desk for me, marked with a post-it that said: in the event.
I smiled. This did feel like the intended event. His guidance was like that, waiting for my arrival, immaculately timed. I held the book between my hands briefly, feeling the craftsmanship, and the intentional weight of good paper. It even smelled wonderful, like it had been marinating among the greats in Martin’s library. He believed in mingling with both destiny and card-sharks. He kept them all neatly on the shelves in his home office, entertaining them often with poetry readings.
I closed my eyes and imagined what was inside, knowing simultaneously that the pages would be empty. All of them blank, these pages would be mine, each and every one of them gifted by our friendship. When I opened the book, there was of course an inscription. Signed, it read:
In the event, here is a summary of the things I have come to know.
There are writers, and there are people who write. You are a writer. You, have natural-born talent.
Everything is important. It is a good life.
Watch the news lightly, as if it were an inside joke between friends. Imagine that is true.
In the event, keep on keepin’ on. When in doubt, make a list of ten interesting things at the end of each day.
Written by: Adrienne Yeardye; Jupiter’s Hive