The Life Dreamt
The Life Dreamt
(Dedicated to my grandfather)
I look into those light blue eyes, that shine like stars and I see...
The same innocent expression they had when they first opened! A new born child, almost blind from the sights to see, full of anticipation to behold the world and live the life!
I see these eyes lousy with life and curiosity and laughs!
and I wonder...
not how much longer they are going to stay open...
I don't wonder how much kindness they can hold...
I don't wonder what they see or what they've seen. I know that, he told me one hot summer afternoon!
I don't wonder what they see in me or if they can see me at all...
I don't wonder who it is they wish they could see, even for just one last time...
I don't wonder if he remembers who's not here anymore...
I don't wonder if these eyes know to whom they belong, who is the person looking at the world through them...
I don't wonder if he knows who he is...
I don't wonder if he recognize me.
I don't wonder if he loves me, loved me...
Where is the one I love?
He's gone with the breeze...
Lord Blower swept him up! He mounted a warm current, stretched his arms and a set of wings unfolded... They weren't his...
People don't have wings...
But if they are good enough, kind... if they kiss their grandchildren's hair and stroke the enduring home walls lovingly and with gratitude; if they speak kind words to the air about all people; sometimes swallows swoop down and grasp them! And they carry them along, upwards, skywards!
"That's what happens to good men"! Grandmother had once told him.
He's on his way south now.
He's going back to his childhood river. THE river! The big river! He will finally build that raft he always dreamt of! He will fashion it out of reeds and he's going to ride it and be a pirate!
He's going to make a net out of straw and hey and go fishing for lost trinkets, childish treasures!
He's going back. He's going to his father who's sitting out in the yard barefoot and frustrated, waving pages with numbers and figures on them, across his sweaty blushed face and ask him for a nickle.
And if father has one to spare he'll take it and he'll go down to the old well and toss it in and make a wish!
He's going to wish that he can one day fly! Look at him gazing at the sky, he's looking for the swallows! They usually come this time of year...
Hear him sing nonsense, making up limericks and jibberish, his silly mind confused by words that sound alike!
Oh he's gone. He's already gone!
He's back in that little house, in that little kitchen with the tilted floor cheating his little brother on a game of marbles!
He's busy; he's ringing the doorbell at the house where that buck-teethed girl lives! He is going to ring twice and then he will run away as fast as he can before her mother comes to answer.
Don't wake him up, you'll distract him! He has to be careful, he can't be caught or they'll scold him! Leave him, he's only a boy! Besides he's a little bit sweet on her, these are delicate things, especially in that age...
He's tugging his mother's apron, asking for a treat, a piece of dry fruit, an apple slice, a spoonglful of honey, an orange.
Oh it's always so hot in this place...
But big poets have lived here, the heels of great emperors have sank in this sofy soil, and there used to be a big big library with many many books!
When he grows up he's going to leave! He will go north where they speak his mother tongue.
And as soon as he steps onto the homeland's grounds, swarms of welcoming arms will quarrel and fight over who gets to have him fall into them!
He will be a doctor and he make a lot of money; with them he will buy lots of candy and nice suits and dancing shoes and he's going to wear them in balls where he'll dance with pretty girls!
And he won't have to go to school!
He will do as he pleases!
He will be a grown up, a man of his own!
He'll have a car!
He will kiss girls on the lips!
He will be a big man with a job and responsibilities!
He will be a husband to the smartest, prettiest girl in town! Maybe she'll have something of that sassy, fiesty buck-teeethed girl...
He will have children and grandchildren and spend his days in bliss, content with the life he built!
The one he dreamt about and planned since he was a boy, just now! And he will be a good man. Kiss the children's hair and stroke the walls and say kind words for all people.
Everything will go according to plan! He will be happy! He will be a good man, just like grandmother said.
And in the end he will lie on a soft mattress with pillows stuffed with feathers and have his loved ones gathered around him. He will kiss their hands and smile to them with tears of joy. He will look into their eyes, one by one: daughter, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, wife...But of course he'll die first... who wants to see their lives ones go? No of course not!
He will blink his suave smiling light blue eyes and look at them one by one! Look deeply into their eyes and see them!
They will all be there! And he will beam with those starry eyes one last time!
And it will happen when he's ready.
Everything, everything will go as planned!
He'll go when he's ready
He will tuck his hands in theirs... They'll make a nest out of kin palms of all ages just for him.
He will then lie back and close those light blue eyes and for a minute he'll have his whole life pass before his eyes!
The river, the raft, the apple slices, the marbles on the tilted floor, the paper with the numbers and the figures, the stifling heat, his mother's apron, the little house with the little kirchen, the precious nickle, the buck-teeethed girl, the wishing well, the wishes, the life dreamt!
And then he'll kiss his grandchildren's hair and stroke the loyal house walls that never let him down and speak kind words to the air about all people and then he'll look with those eyes for one last time and for one last time he will see!
And then he'll shut his eyelids and wait for the swallows!
I don't wonder what he sees and what he's seen...
I only wonder where is the one I love...
I wonder where I am to look every time I miss those bright light blue eyes, that shine like stars. These eyes that preserved the same expression they had when he was a new born child, almost blind from the sights to see, full of anticipation to behold the world and live the life!
Those eyes that were lousy with life and curiosity and laughs!
And now? Where is the one I love?
The swallows must have him by now...
He's gone with the swallows!