I got off the bus with a local character I've seen on a few occasions.
Life's been hard on him and it shows in deep craggy expression lines on
his face. His front are missing and he smells of the chronic drinker.
we hit the sidewalk he turns to me and says. I don't want to be too
personal, and you might think it's weird. but I bet I'm the only guy who
gets a cake for his mother day and I don't have a mother. With this he
produces out of the ratty bag he is clutching a heart shaped cake
adorned with miniature pink and black stilettos and matching purse. in
the centre the phrase "happy mother's day". i'm rendered mute for a
second. part of me wants to know why he would phrase it that particular
way. finally I respond that he was born and maybe she's not here but he
did "have" a mother. he shakes his head. i seem compelled to share with him that my
mother had passed away and is gone but not forgotten as well. he shakes his
head again and says to me in a voice choked with some emotion that it's a
on that we both turn from one another to go our opposite directions
and I feel a great heave of tears forcing
themselves to the surface. it felt a if I had been whalloped with the
realization, yet again, that she isn't here. and even though we weren't
close her absence
is still felt acutely. as I walked down the street I told myself
breathe and push down the rush of emotion; with my hands
physically i pulled the air in and pushed the feeling down. It worked. with a
few deep breaths and a few minutes i regain my composure.