I was sitting next to the old man and we were having tea at the breakfast table. His eyes were shy but his tone was perfectly controlled. The words aligned in a rich order to construct a paved shiny road to an unknown place.
…I followed the voice with all the delicious images floating forward, he took his time to tell his story I took mine to enjoy it.
He was taking an elevator in a hotel somewhere in a sunshine country when a young boy ran inside before the door closed. The child hugged him intensely crying of joy. When he finally raised his eyes toward the surprised man he said “papa”, so glad you have returned home,….coming back to us, we have missed you so.
I could guess his feelings but I guess wrong. He had no feeling of doubt or guilt. The boy wasn’t his. He was astonished but he marveled in the light of this meeting. The old man walked back with the boy to his modest home.
…so what happened I asked, eager to be with them now.
- Well, he said, I went to meet my wife.
I travelled fast and far to the dark ages in France and felt I just was introduced to Martin Guerre. The one who used to puzzle me so. How can a man take the place of another with the blessing of all the family and friends of the previous Martin? It worked for a while until envious people would tragically end the story.
I still can’t understand what drive a soul to integrate another soul through an abandoned life. But I can imagine it and feel in all my flesh and bones how happiness can come from the most obscure corners of our conscience and that it needs to be protected and cherished.
In front of us the tea was cold. His eyes were distant. I knew he was far in her arms.