Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It could be the weather -- hot and muggy and I am tired and I don't feel like doing anything except lie on the couch with the fan on, or go to some air-conditioned coffee shop and read a book.

It could be I'm tired of this story. When I look at these photos I see it was a happy time, our engagement party in February of 1997. She was happy and so was I, but now I cannot feel that happiness....... Who is she? Who are those people in the photos? I seem to not know them anymore.

I have been writing this story for several months now, planning all the time for this crescendo at the end --- the engagement party, then the wedding itself six months later, and then the journey to Malawi to visit her ancestral village.

I plan to end  with her coming to America, to conclude with a photo of her standing in a field of tulips outside of LaConner, joined by Pat and Kevin Paul's daughter. That is where the story will end  -- when Precious arrives in America.

But I feel like I am hurrying through it, just to get the story finished.

These photos, these people -- this was her life, and my life. Every day was valuable and we squandered so much time doing nothing.

I remember I used to sit on the front steps of our rented home in Bulawayo -- the concrete steps were so smooth because they were frequently waxed and polished.

Precious  often waxed and polished the floor, and then swept the hard-clay yard with a twig broom. She was proud of her cleanliness, and I loved it.

I would sit on the front steps, with a cup of coffee during the day, just sit there and watch the street, although nobody ever came down the street, or seldom came down the street and always walking slowly.

There was a way people walked slowly in Africa. Mr. Mataka explained it to me. He would say -- see that man walking quickly, he has a car, he only walks a little way so he walks fast. But see that other man with the long legs and walking very slowly. He has no car. He walks all day long, so he walks slowly.

Instantly I could see the difference, so I would sit on the front step of my rented house in Bulawayo and watch people walking by, wasting my life that way, thinking about things I would never do.

I could never stop thinking. I did not have that exalted ambition.

That was 18 years ago. Today I write this in the living room of my girl friend's home in Santa Barbara wondering who these people are and why they are so happy.

1 comment:

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