December 15, 2009

The bright forever

There was a time when I loved Raymond Wright. Nothing that happened can change that fact. I'm not even sure I'd trade it if I could. Don't ask me. Just know there are days when you thank your lucky stars, when the world doesn't seem quite so old and used up. I lay in bed those mornings and listened to the martins singing. Sing, sing, sing--just like Mama said, all over God's heaven. Now these last summers--my last summers--when I hear them, I think back to those mornings, Ray in bed beside me, and my heart balls up so tight I can't tell what's love and what's misery. It's all the same, always will be. That's what I'd tell those girlie-girls now if I could somehow travel back to that afternoon at Brookstone Manor--that lazy afternoon when one of them said, "God," not like a prayer but like there wasn't a thing left to surprise her. I'd tell her there's always something around the corner, no matter how old you get, no matter how much you're sure you've got a handle on things. Sooner or later you live long enough--I hope that girlie-girl got the chance--and the love and the heartache get all mixed up, and that's what you've got....

That's the way it was, always will be. Nothing we can do to make it different. It's a story now, and stories have endings even when you don't know--fools like me--that you're already in the middle of one, and you're already making choices....Choices that will bring you to places you never thought you'd be, places in your heart you'll mourn the rest of your life.

Lee Martin, The Bright Forever

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