Wednesday. It took me a few days for it to sink in and to start feeling the loss of another good friend. By last night I couldn't sleep, got up in the middle of the night to draft a blog "Requiem" which I've posted on my other blog site: http://wynnbexton.blogspot.com
I started counting all the friends from Athens who have passed on in the last few years. There's so many that when I started to think of the survivors I could almost count them on one hand.
That is, friends from the notorious "Dirty Corner" days in the '80's, and some who hung out at the current favorite spot, the To Kati Allo Taverna on Hatzichristou St. No matter how many times you experience the loss of a friend or family member or even an aquaintence, it isn't any easier. To think you will never see them again, never talk to them. NEVER is such an overwhelming thought.
It happened that today was my friend Graham's birthday. I found out from a friend of his who emailed me. So at supper I made a special little dinner and poured a glass of zinfandel and drank to his memory. And tonight, at the LQ after my class, when Laura was singing those nostalgic ballads, I almost started to cry. Graham was a music aficionado and especially liked jazz ballads. We used to talk about music a lot and sing songs when things reminded us of them.
The other thing I found out today was that it was colon cancer that he had and that made my episode on Sunday night even eerier. A similar thing happened when Roberto was dying the hospice in Athens. I could actually 'feel' that I was there with him, dreamed of him, like an astral travel, so I was standing by his bed. The night he died I was in the bathroom getting ready to go out and I said a little prayer for him, and spoke to him, knowing he was close to leaving. Just then something squeezed my hand so tightly that my ring bent and squeeze onto my finger so I couldn't get it off. It was the strangest thing, like Roberto had squeezed my hand. I calculated later that it may have been around the moment he left us.
Well, it helps to write about this. It eases the pain of the loss. I'm sure though, when I get to Athens and go to the taverna, I'm going to really feel the full impact of his absence. I still find myself looking for Roberto to come down the street. I still often 'imagine' him sitting there across the table from me. I will miss Graham the same way. His spirit will haunt Hatzichristou Street for some time to come.