Saturday, 2 April 2011

The long goodbye

Day break when we reached the border. Tijuana. Sun bleached asphalt segregated by smile-white confident correctional dashes and double punctuated by the odd coal-raked ruby of break-lights ahead. And the sky soft marshmallowed above. My friend had – and I use that epitaph sparingly – visited unannounced towards the single digit end of the night; I'd passed out after losing the thread in some detective novel when the empty bottles reached double digits; when I saw the familiar face wedged between the cautious gap of door and frame, I let him in. The grog still hung low over my senses; I wasn't taking in his words framing circumstances – something terrible; something needing distance, etc., etc. If the price of friendship is, on occasion, not having to ask the questions, it's the admission I'm willing to wave for reciprocal consideration – they say, “never having to say sorry”. So I'm the facilitator in an escape from what, I don't know, and the path of friendship has taken me to forced severance. I dropped him off at the guard booth and turned round for home. I didn't look back in rear mirror, perhaps out of misbegotten faith, though I have a tendency to not let things go. He killed his wife. It seems impolite to ask about the money.

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