Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Final Curtain

Death has an audience with hecklers and fans.
I have never been a witness to uncinematic death and there I was in line for a bullfight with my ticket in one hand and a beer in the other.
I never realized how much a body changes once life inside it has gone.
It leaves deep long marks in the earth as it's slowly dragged away.
The bullfight lasted 2 hours. After the first fight John asked me if I wanted to stay.
I noticed two young girls seated behind us gathering their belongings. Both were in tears.
I don't know why I chose to stay. Perhaps there was still something I needed to learn about the fact of dying.
Four years ago a nurse pulled a curtain around my grandfather's death bed. His struggle to hold on to this world lasted several hours. On the other side of the curtain I turned the pages of a photo album for Mimi. Her dementia was so, the few pages were endless. Over and over each picture was brand new for her. Her own curtain had been put up years before.
At that time, the only words I could remember of the Hail Mary were, "now and at the hour of our death, Amen."
Repeating them over and over while turning each page only seemed to intensify the situation.
Sadly, I can't say if I have prayed a Hail Mary since then.
But as I watched them drag this dead bull out of the ring, I found myself repeating those same words.
Now and at the hour of our death , Amen.
Now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
Still unable to remember all the words of the prayer.
Those trailing marks so deep in the sand will be forever etched in my mind.
I am uncertain what lesson I learned sitting through the entire bullfight.
What exactly did I need to prove?
As I download my photos, I think about the many types of curtains.
The ones that shield and protect us.
The ones on those games shows revealing the new washer and dryer or random kitchen appliance.
I also think about all the different times when we choose to open or close these curtains.
I then sit quietly at my computer and begin to pray a Hail Mary and this time all the words come back to me.


Anonymous said...

You are a very good writer MB.

I have heard similar sentiments regarding bull fights, but never written so eloquently.


Anonymous said...

Agree with Tricia...very good MB. You can write that book, no problem. Just let the verses flow from your keyboard like they do in your head.
I think I cried a little when I watched the bullfight 31 yrs ago.

Miss ya, Lurking Lisa
p.s. the weather has been awesome here. It's ending tomorrow and will only be in the 60's next week. We get home Friday evening.

Theresa said...

wow, I could not help but cry with this. You are very correct with what you have said in this..you write so well.