Monday, December 3, 2007

Thank You For Your Love, Quiet Man

The morning after my mother was killed, I was in her house. It was empty, meaningless and it felt so strange. Her phone was constantly ringing and so was my cell phone.

Fred rang my cellular. As I looked down, I was happy to see his name pop onto the screen, but I did not call him back immediately. I wanted to wait until I was done with the calls on the land line.

When I did call him, he was so very nice and kind. The day my mother was killed, I had been at a Wendy’s near Fred’s store. It was about 3-3:30 pm in the afternoon. I had this strange urge to go and eat a baked potato, not because I was hungry but because when I did want one, I would sit in the car, feeling guilty for using the light sour cream that Wendy’s hands out with the Sour Cream and Chive version, and watch who ever would be going by.

I had pulled my car backwards into the space, so I could see everyone. I glanced over at Fred’s shop and could not see in due to the reflection. I was thinking, why was I eating this potato? I was not even hungry and since I was going to go to the gym at around 5:30 to go to a kickboxing class, why was I weighing myself down with starch?

As I was pondering these stupid thoughts, I saw my mother driving through. I watched her drive her way out of the plaza we were in, stop at the light and then turn left. I wondered why she was cutting through the plaza, since if she went there, she would visit the food store and would use another entrance.

I saw her very clearly, her face intent while she drove. The late afternoon sun illuminated her face and hair with a soft and golden glow. I had felt very sad looking at her drive and I don’t know why I had this feeling of her being alone and lonely.

I dismissed those thoughts and said to myself, if she was to go into the food store, I would drive over and surprise her while she was shopping. As I watched her drive out, I thought she was going to the office of someone I told her she should not bother with-and then I thought, well I would see her later either before the gym or after.

I then finished my potato and went back to the office.

After I went to the gym for my 5:30 class, having arrived prior to five to do the circuit and three other leg machines prior to the kickboxing, I headed home. There was this traffic jam. As I approached my intersection, I saw two roads each flared and yellow taped with a Sheriff’s Deputy standing guard. I thought, I hope it’s not my Mom. I needed to backtrack the way I came, via a back route. When I made the turn opposite the second Deputy, I did not see any car crash or vehicles and thought, good, it’s not an accident.

I went to my mother’s house and let myself in, thinking she was arriving soon. I called my brother and asked him if he seen her, he said no, she was probably out helping the one I told her not to go to at their office. I asked him if he knew why those roads where blocked off. No, he said, but he saw the blockade.

I went to my youngest brother’s home. About two hours later, I found out my mother was killed by a car around the same time I was at the gym. I was never to see her again. I saw a mangled and disfigured face of a lady at the hospital. There were towels around her head, which was previously blood soaked. Her skull was caved in like a bowl on her right side and her left eye was bulging. Her nose was cut in two and flattened, as was her swollen face. It was not my Mother. Harry was with me. I lifted the sheets on the gurney and saw feet which were my Mother’s. They had minor cuts on them, but they were hers.

Fred’s voice was solemn and kind. His tone was soft and steady. He was telling me my mother was in his shop talking to him and Quiet Man the day she was killed. They were making plans to go to the party of the son with the famous mother and to another party as well. I did not want to go to the other party and she did. I was not keen on driving her there, telling her she should just to go to the son’s party.

Fred and she were making plans to go to both parties and he along with Quiet Man, welcomed her to go with them and Fred was going to bring his Rolls Royce and pick her up in it to go in style.

Tears where striping my dry cheeks as he was telling me the story. I was happy to know that when I saw her she was happy and not lonely. She must have been so glad to have a “date” with Fred and Quiet Man for those parties and to be in their company. How kind of Fred, I thought. I was so grateful for his kind treatment of my Mother. I was grateful that Quiet Man was there with her and making her feel included and wonderful. Quiet Man really has/had such a kind and gentle manner with my Mother, it was touching. I was glad to know both he and Fred made her feel magnificent.

I got off the phone with Fred and eventually checked my office calls.

I hear the deep and thick accent of Quiet Man, leaving me a message of condolence, with the genuineness of an old and caring friend. I began to cry. It was something about his voice, his sadness that touched me about his sorrow about my Mom.

I called Quiet Man back later in the day. I had stopped for coffee and went and leaned on a light pole in the parking lot of the 7-11. I dialed his number. He answered and as soon as he heard my voice, his changed with a caring emotion.

I thanked him for his call and tried to speak to him without my voice breaking. I tried to quelch the lump in my throat that made my voice quiver and break. As I started to weep, I heard his voice deepen in a comforting gesture towards me.

Speaking to him lessened the sadness for a moment, and brought me some comfort in knowing he is a kind and caring man.

The night after my Mother’s killing, my two brothers, my sister-in-law and I decided to still attend the party of the son with the famous mother since she was so anticipating going herself. Besides, the son’s assistant, called us to assure us we had to go for our Mother.

I was dressed very demurely: a black knit skirt below the knee with a white ribbed turtle neck, no make up and stilleto olive green heels.

As I made my way into the restaurant, I was greeted by so many friends with condolences and embraces. I was klinging on to them, with tears streaming down my face because I was weeping with such grief. I saw Fred, patiently waiting next to me to speak with me. I was unable to free myself to go to him. I had looked up while weeping and I saw Quiet Man leaning against a wall holding a drink. He was looking at me crying, making my face swell and being unable to stop. He looked so pained. I could feel his hurt that I was hurting, his gaze being so genuine and concerned. He watched me for a while and I was embracing the son with the famous mother who asked if he could say a few words about my Mom. Of course, I told him. It would be wonderful.

As I was able to pass through into the restaurant, I did not see Fred. I turned to my right, and I saw Quiet Man walking towards me. I fell into his arms, embracing him for a long time. He held me for as long as I wanted to hold him, and as a protective father would his daughter who needed his strength and understanding.

He took me to the open bar to get a drink. Between he and I there exists some sort of unspoken understanding, a link of acceptance and knowledge of the other. I felt safe and at peace with him.

He stayed with me throughout the night.

We held up a corner of the wall. We chatted and laughed. As people where coming to speak with me, he kindly stepped away, yet remained near. I eventually stopped him from doing that by holding on to him so he would not go.

When Fred found us, he embraced me very lovingly and asked what he could do for me.

“Just be my friend, Fred, just be my friend.”

“Of course, Muse, of course!” he assured me.

Eventually Fred went off by himself leaving Quiet Man and myself.

I had felt this secure place with Quiet Man that night. I was thinking of how short life is and how I wanted him to be in my life. I thought about his marriage. I thought about what had transpired since I had met him.

“Quiet Man,” I began, “can I ask you something?”

“Yes, Muse,” he said in his throaty accent, looking at me.

Quiet Man was hovering over me, holding his drink as usual.
I was thinking how was I going to tell him what I wanted to tell him? How was I going to manage to say to him what I was thinking?

The party was in full swing. People where enjoing the open bar, the catered dinner, all of which I was not interested in at all. I wanted to fill the void I had and reap the comfort of Quiet Man, who was standing next to me.

I can’t remember exactly how I said or what I said, but I asked him if we could be friends, real friends. I wanted him to be in my life and do things with me. I did not want to have a sexual relationship with him, but a deep friendship. I explained to him that it would be important to me and I had other such relationship with men who were my friends, even after their marriages. Nothing inappropriate or lurid. Just the feeling of having the closeness of a man, as close to me as a brother.

I believe he agreed, because I can’t remember what he responded, I think because I can’t remember exactly what I said. I hope I am not remembering what I think I said and what I think he said.

“Muse, you are my friend,” he said looking at me.

I just smiled. He held my hand for a second, and then put his arm around my waist. It felt good.

Fred came around again and invited me to go with he and Quiet Man to the other party. I said yes but would have to tell my brother since we all drove together in one car.

Quiet Man went to go and get the car. Fred and I waited outside. It was cold.

“Fred, can you hold my purse?”

“Of course, Muse,” he said and held my champagne bag.

Quiet Man pulls up the Rolls and we get in.

We go to the other party, which had maybe 15 people. Quiet Man escorts me in and the three of us are the target of immediate gossip since I am with them. What I like about Quiet Man is that he could care less what anyone says.

Quiet Man and I are standing together. I knew more people there than he and they started to come and speak to me, offering condolences.

As Quiet Man was standing next to me, my friend Henry, who is about 65 years old, came over. Henry was so drunk and sweating out his liquor. He told me he was so sorry about my mother.

“Henry, it is so good to see you. I have not seen you in ages!”

“Oh, yes you have Muse.”

“When?” I asked.

That is when Henry went on and on in his drunkenness about the last time he saw me. He was even telling Quiet Man, who apparently did not like hearing it and went and got himself some fried calamari.

Henry was re-living the last time he laid eyes on me and it took me off guard. I never saw him like this before.

It was the black dress. The one I had on the night Quiet Man was mad about Tigo taking away my attention. I never saw Henry that night, but he remembered me in that dress and apparently did not forget.

It made me laugh and I know Quiet Man heard it as well. I don’t know why it was “important” to me that Quiet Man heard Henry fawn all over me and lusting about the black dress.

At the end of the night, Quiet Man and Fred, true to their word, drove me to my Mother’s home, where I was staying. I got out of the car, said my goodbyes and did not turn around to see them leave.

I entered the dark and lonely house, which was previously a home the day before and began to cry. I cried because my mother was killed. I cried because I was all alone and I cried because I was sad that Quiet Man and Fred dropped me off and left me.


Glamourpuss said...

Oh Muse, you sound so vulnerable, dear. I do hope you have a variety of friends around you, not just those two. Be careful, my friend.


Gucci Muse said...

Thank you Puss, I do have others around me and I am grateful for them as well.

These two have always been so entertaining to me in their oddities-I think I find them intriguing since they are not American born and they are so much nicer.

It is in times as these, you find out who really cares about you and those who just say they do.

That does not mean I do not have my guard up, because I do-unfortunately.

Pigassus said...

Muse, we are seperated by time, space, and experience save one: both of us had a loved one killed in a car accident. I had that same moment in the hospital with my wife wondering what had happened to the girl who had left for work that morning and never shown up for dinner than night. I looked at her face for what seemed like days hoping she would just wake up, but of course...

I was struck in the days after with conflicting thoughts as people struggled to express their condolences. Why bother since nothing said will make a difference? But they only wish to make you feel better and express to you how sad they feel, for you and themselves and the person they too lost. Yet nothing helped. But I smiled and took their words and vowed to remember everyone who had a kind word for my wife.

I am saddened to hear of your loss.

The only thing I can think to say that might have any chance of comfort is this: Know you are not, at least in thought and spirit, alone.

I hope you are one day well Muse.


Gucci Muse said...


I am so sorry about your wife. It must be so difficult. I know I was thinking my mother would show up at the same time I knew she was dead. Even though I saw her body, I was trying to tell my mind it was not true, knowing at the same time that was false.

What has helped me is talking to friends. This blog had helped. I have my moments when I am alone and I cannot hold back the tears.

I have been doing things at my own leisure, the only way I can cope, whether was her cremation, her mass, he eventual burial and her affairs.

Thank you for your kinds words. I know in spirit I am not alone, but right now in reality I am.

In time, this too shall pass. I know all that have had a loss as I, need to keep living life and moving forward.

For right now, the loss is deep and impairing, and the daily struggle to lessen the effects is my chore.


SJ said...

I'm not sure what to say to you other than how sorry I am. When people go that suddenly you have not time to adjust or accept what has just happened. Your mom seemed like a great woman from your stories and I can't imagine the loss you feel.

I think it is good you went to the party as well. It must've been hard, but I think it was the right thing to do. I'm also glad Quiet Man is ok with being your friend and isn't trying to push things further.

When I posted about my sister dying I remember you commenting on it and telling me that things will get better. I've always remembered your kindness and compassion. If there is anything I can ever do for you, please let me now. It will get easier, but friends are here to help you until it does.

Gucci Muse said...

SJ- you are right, the suddeness is what I believe is haunting me. I do remember about your sister, and again I am sorry. I do hope things are better for you, and from your blog, it seems that it has. I am happy for you.

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David said...

Your words move straight into my heart and on reading them, if one's natural reaction is not to hug you, then something is wrong. Oh, but there is courage in those words. Thank you for sharing them with us all.

Gucci Muse said...

Oh, thank you David. I needed hugs then and now until I get through this period in my life. I am much better now, but have my moments.

You are kind and I appreciate your sentiments.


The Charming Hedonist said...

I hate that you have to go through this about your mother. I don't want to say I'm sorry, because when my father died, everyone said they were sorry and it irritated the hell out of me. But I do hate that you have to go through it.

Hugs from afar.