Day #7: Temper Your Heart

Monday: I took this as a day of rest. Slept in until 11am after going to bed around 2. I knew that I didn’t want to walk after two days of endless movement. I really don’t understand how one can be a tourist for multiple days in a row without rest. Perhaps I think this too because I will be a tourist in foreign lands for another thirty days yet. I don’t feel the urgency of visitation and spectatorship. Relaxing is an essential component of a vacation and on this day I do so. A light breakfast and music. I see that Spyros has a classical guitar with one string missing and so I decide I must re-string it so I can practice or else perhaps forget my songs before my return to the states. I have never strung a classical guitar, but there are you-tube videos and so I re-string with that. It is easy and satisfying to know that perhaps I offered at least one thing to this host besides the mess that I continuously create.
After some practice and thoughts on music I decide around 2pm that I should at least attempt to venture out into the city and so I once again return to Ray’s Jazz Café. I sit to write and reflect more on life. I know that this sitting and reflecting couldn’t come to much good because I know that later I will be reminded of the past, but I am avoiding the past in these thoughts and think on the future. As I am walking to the café on this day and older Indian man stops me to tell me that I should temper my heart because it wants the wrong things, but at the very least tells me I will be falling in love soon. I am not sure I should believe him, but it was so random that I want to. I had that premonition a month and a half ago that I would fall in love within the next four months while listening to John Legend. Haha. I figured it was me momentarily being captivated by John Legends coffee liqueur voice. I am still not sure though. I have had premonitions in the past and not listened and they have in fact come true. I just am not sure I believe in them though. I will not put much stock in these. I will explain later why I am thinking so much on love right now though and maybe this will make much more sense.
After too much contemplation again it is time to meet Stacey for dinner and I wonder how people ever find each other in the crowds of London. We decide on a Korean/Japanese place called Loki. I prefer Asian food because most of it is gluten and dairy free, which makes selection much easier. The meal is large and wonderful, exactly what I have needed for a while. I feel my appetite returning again and realize it as a good thing.
Our plans this night are Les Miserables, which I have prepared for by stuffing my pockets with tissues. I already know that I will have a breakdown at the theatre because the first time I went I started crying a mere thirty minutes into the opera. I was worried I would come to the same this time around as well. This time though I had more to think on. The actual plot makes even more sense and strikes heart chords that it didn’t as a child. I feel more sympathetic towards different characters now and it is a completely different experience.
The first time I saw Les Miserables I was fifteen and my mother took me for my birthday. She spent more money than I thought she ought to for something she wasn’t remotely interested in seeing, but did anyway. I know she was bored but she smiled as I cried and loved the music and sang along with poor little Cosette in her little castle on a cloud. As I sit in the audience now I think on how much I wish it was my mother sitting next to me again with our arms locked and once again me tearing up and hoping to one day be one of the actors on stage (I didn’t realize at the time that I could never be in Les Miserables because I’m black).
I did begin to weep a mere thirty minutes in once again, but it wasn’t the plot. It was the way the singers voices felt in my body and the reminders of my missing mother. Then it became my missing mother and her last wishes for me that the opera brought up again and I had known as soon as I saw posters for Les Mis would come, which is why I have been pining for love like a beggar for food all week. My mother died alone like all of us die, but in this case I mean she lived alone and had no one to look after her. I called her that night, likely an hour or so before she passed. It was St. Paddy’s Day 2009 when others are celebrating overzealously with drink and cheer that we said our last “I love you’s” and she said, “have you met anyone yet?” and I said “no” once again because I felt too hard hearted to meet anyone at the time. We hung up with no new revelations, but knowing that we would talk again tomorrow or the next. There was no tomorrow or the next though. All there was was a phone call from Raleigh and before she uttered a word, I knew. I screamed and thought I would die, so I hung up on her because maybe it wouldn’t be real if I didn’t let her speak.
The thing is that you don’t know what to expect when someone you love dies. All I could think of as I boarded a plane hours after the call were all of the things that I never gave her that she expected of me or didn’t. I wanted to give her a home and let her rest for the remainder of her life that had been hard for most, but I didn’t. I wanted to give her grandchildren so she could see herself in them, but that would never happen either. I could only think that I had been so selfish and that because I didn’t want to be hurt I was avoiding what could maybe make me happy.
I brought a picture of her with me so I can look at it anytime I need her and she smiles at me and says things are okay. This is in fact why I’ve been too much thinking on the heart this week. When I think of my mother and some of her last words to me it makes me think of loneliness. I am not lonely though. I enjoy my independence much of the time, but I do think it would be wonderful to have a family to take care of sometimes. I just think of how nice it would be to have someone to come home to. In time that will come, but for now I will just explore and live and love and be loved and know that my mom is always with me no matter where I go. I dedicate everyday I am here to her memory and hope that people can see the good of her in me, because she was a good person that loved people and would help them even if they had hurt her. I never saw her as that while a child, but as I grew older I saw in her a woman I wanted to be. So I take her good and her bad as my own and hope to make her proud in everyday I live. Mom, I love you.

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One thought on “Day #7: Temper Your Heart

  1. January 13, 1945Today was a nice mission, for we took off 1 ½ hours after the others. Got an engine fixed. Took off at 9:30, flew 6 ½ hours then landed at 4. Light flak. Nothing else to speak of except we are really getting used to blind flying. Fog was the worst ever when we took off. It's an exceptional day when you can see the end of the runway. Oh, one, fellow stayed in the sack and we flew a new tail gunner on his first mission. We flew Loose Valves again with five 1,000 pounders at 25,000 in weather 48 ° below. Fog bad to land in. Ceiling 200 feet. Visibility same. P.S. – We went to Mainz.January 15, 1945Augsburg was this day’s destination. We took off as usual at 8:10 in bad weather. Landed at 4:50 in clear weather, how nice. Only four of our squad’s ships flew today, so we let the 497th fly with us as the two top squads. There was lots of flak around Augsburg, but it was scattered and far off, well, fairly far. Altitude was 24,800, I measured it. It was 31 ° below nothing. We had a new ship for a change. Sweetheart of the Skies. Time was 8:40.

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