I made my way on foot along the river to the army barracks to find my lodging. Along the way, down a pretty scene of century-old broad leaf trees shading a paved walk-way and iron and wood benches upon which sat geriatrics unafraid of anything life could throw at them any more, down the way accompanied by sniper fire, those old people not even flinching at the shots, maybe too deaf to even hear them, I found myself thinking of my grandparents, all of them born over a hundred years ago now. Both couples stayed married from early adulthood till death, maybe, as Woody Allen points out, like pigeons. Maybe, as one might think, like people who had relationships with each other they refused to abandon no matter what. And they had their "what."
One couple: My grandmother told my father to get his father from the tavern and bring him home. She gave my father, a young man at the time, bus-fare, which he looked at in disgust. He said he couldn't bring his father home from the tavern on a bus, he needed taxi fare, which he got from my stingy gramma, reluctantly. Hours passed, and my gramma finally took a bus to the tavern to find out why my father and her husband hadn't returned. She found them both drunk on the taxi fare. She told them both to get out of her sight an never return. They left for America.
My father met my mother, got married, and here am I to write this anecdote for you. But here's what I find interesting: My grandmother found my grandfather. They remained together for sixty years, minus a few year in the middle. Because time is always time, and place is always place; but some people see it whole as one.
My mother laid in bed dying badly, and my father, long gone, came back, and he sat till she died. 'Cause he and she could see the hole in the world of life. It's a hole one falls into alone, no one there to pull you out again. And there you stay.
And my girl, a constant Scot, went walkin', and she never returned, and she won't, and there's an end of it.
I met a fellow young and savage who says he needn't marry for the sake of paper and society's recognition of his relationship's legitimacy. Hear, Hear. He doesn't need anything, nor not nobody neither. He knows what I don't know. He knows what nobody knows but him knows:
How to fill the hole in a heart-shaped world.