Tea For Two

On another blog was a reposting of a love letter from Craigslist that a lover had written to their deceased partner. You could feel the hole where their heart had been. It made me think of my best friend and my grandmother both crossing from human imperfection into spiritual flawlessness. Death to some but, to me, is now seen as a frail shroud hanging between breaths. It had been death to me too, though somewhere along the way, I began to get a sense that they were present. Even if it's all made up, just another dose of my wild imagination, I've taught myself to breathe them towards me through the nuances of my senses.

I found myself alone in L.A. a couple of months ago. I was in the Palisades and decided to grab breakfast at a nice little place down past the Self-Realization Fellowship. And I did not take lightly the significance of that structure on this morning walk. Earlier in the week, I had been handed several books at the airport of the same vein. A very familiar practice where I come from except the books would have been the King James version of the Bible with the NIV slipping through once in awhile. I gave a rather large donation knowing I would reap something in return. Some will say that I shouldn't consider or expect anything in return but the Universe doesn't work that way. It's a cosmic laboratory of balance. And what I might get in return was some, well, self-realization.

Anyway, I find this nice little cafe. It's full except for a four top. The waiter asks me if I'm good with sitting at a table with three empty chairs. I am. Because it's busy, I am getting in some good reading time. I wrap my mind around the words of a local magazine that is enticing me to stay longer while sipping a little green tea. As I'm waiting to order, I hear laughter and it pleases me because it's familiar. Though not perfectly on pitch, it has the same resonance of my best friend. So, I invite the sound to sit with me.

A little bit later, a short Hispanic woman walks in. Though not perfectly sculpted, she has the likeness of my grandmother and I invite the image to sit with me. I delight in not being alone. I glance at the empty chair and wonder briefly who could possibly show up. I turn the page of the magazine and there is a blurb on the screenwriting expo that had happened the month before. It's a writing conference for screen and wanna-be screenwriters. I've attended on a few occasions. At one, I met my writing mentor who died unexpectedly from a heart attack this past August. He was, to me, the equivalent of my 6th grade English teacher who pulled me out of class all day and made me sit in the library to write a short story for a local publication's deadline. She did not not want my work included. He was like that, too. He just believed in you. You as in everyone but you as in the genetically encoded me. So, of course, he joined us. He likes that I'm in L.A. and thinks I should stay. It's everything not to laugh aloud and to not order three extra teas. This wasn't much different from when I was a child having tea parties but I'm careful not to reveal myself.

Sitting here at my writing desk, I think of my life when the losses where gaping holes in me. I think about the pain, the suffering, the disconnection. I think about what I am letting go of now that makes me feel as though I'm the actual frail shroud hanging in limbo between a massive transformation. But I have such a strong sense that I'm surrounded. I want that for this lover I read of today. I want them to come to a place where they don't feel so alone. My hope is they sit in a cafe somewhere that has no seating except for a two top and while drinking a little tea catches some faint nuance of a sound or a scent so familiar they must ask it to join them. And in joining them, it is everything for them not to order an extra cup of tea.