_The Gray whale

The gray whale

(For leona. A missed friend.)

Empty bottles of tequila and whiskey sitting on the floor. Unshaven man stared at an empty walls. He is sitting at a small table. On the table a 30/30 rifle lays next to the half empty bottle of tequila. The box of shells lay near on a shelf in reach.
The man wrote in a journal.
“Promises made and broken.
Left forgotten in a shallow grave.
Waiting to rise up and choke the life out
of the remaining dreams.”

The man went to the bathroom. He looked into the mirror. He told the reflection in the mirror to fuck off. He goes back to the 30/30 and begins to clean her for the thousandth time. A whisper appear in his head. “Life is sweet. Death is sweet. Life is shit.” He reached for one shell. He loaded the shell into the chamber. He wondered would anyone give a shit if he was dead?

He heard a gentle knock at the door. He tried not to pay attention to the knocking. The knocking become louder.  He heard a voice. It is Leona. He gets up and goes to the door and open it. Leona hugged him. Asked him was he OK? She told him. “I had a dream you were dead.” She walked into the apartment. She walked into the kitchen. She saw the bottle of tequila and whiskey bottles lined up like soldiers on the floor. She saw the 30/30 on the kitchen table. With tears falling from her eyes. She asked him.”What the fuck are you thinking? Why is the rifle on the table? He answered “Fuck off. Nothing is wrong”.

She took the 30/30 off the table. She unloaded the one round. She is crying. She yelled at him. “You have a loaded 30/30 on the table. A half empty bottle of tequila. You never leave the house except for work and you greet me with a fuck off.”

Leona called her work. Requested two weeks off. She called John’s work and requested two weeks off. She told them. A family problem. Need two weeks to sort out. He sat and watched her. He told her.”Suicide is easy. Life is hard. If you chose death too soon. May miss the one sweet kiss. One more chance to see something beautiful.” Leona wrapped her arms around him. Kissed his face. She asked. “What the fuck are you saying?” She took his hand and brought him to the bed. She held him like a baby.  Fearing he would leave her forever. They lay together in silence.

In the morning. Leona told him. “Time to go. You promise me to be able to see a whale traveling to Mexico. You promise to buy me a Irish coffee in Monterey.”
The long drive was too quiet. He looked out the window. She held his hand tightly. She did a silence prayer of hope and a good ending.

She asked him. “Remember when you described seeing the whale traveling to Mexico. You told me you could almost touch the whale? He whispered. “Keep going west. Death doesn’t like the feel of the mystic desert and the  breeze of the sea.”

Leona told him. “Almost to Fort Ord. You promise me a strong Irish coffee on the pier. You told me we would dance and drink at the beach.” He smiles and told her. “You remembered all my crazy promises. They seem so far away. Why do you want to be with a dead man?”

She didn’t answer for a few minute. She whispered. “I need you my friend. I know you feel guilty for your brother’s death. Jenny left you when you went crazy. When you needed her the most. But I stays with you. Even when you forgot my face and name.”

They arrived in late evening in Monterey. The two friends, like old lover’s held hands at the Irish Cafe. He ordered her a Irish coffee. She ask ” Give me two weeks with you. We will find hope together.” He looked away from her and whisper. “When you lived a bullshit life with fake goals and dreams. The walls will fall in. You will be left alone and empty for wasting a life. Sex, booze and woman can’t make you feel complete. Dead babies haunt my dreams. Two dead brother’s hanging themselves without a word to anyone. They told the world to fuck off in their way.”

After many strong beers. They walked on the calm and lonely beach. She began to sing. She made him dance by the light of the spring moon.
” If I were the king of the forest.
I would stop the hate and dumb shit.
Allow the kids to be kids.”
He began to sing.
”  If I were the king of the forest.
I would end the wars.
If I was the king of the forest.
The world wouldn’t be a pile of shit.”
Leona wrapped her arms around him. He brought her closer. He whisper’s. “Thank you kind woman for you.” Gave her a long kiss.

The Holiday Inn was $200 a night. But you could see for 20 miles into the Pacific.
Leona stood in front of him in a small towel that drops to the floor. She smiles and asked.”Anything you like?” He reached out and puts his head into her breast and held her.

In the morning. He buys two tickets for the whales watching cruise. Rarely do you see a whale. But the two hours into the sea in a small boat was the real  pleasure. The boat was rocking with the ocean. He held her close. She asked him.”Promise me to live forever if we see a whale together.” He kisses her neck and the her lips. He told her. I promise to live on and be thankful for you if we see a great whale..”

A half hour later. The Captain tells the guests. A whale to the left. A  large gray whales appears. It is so beautiful. He felt energy and life coming back to his tire mind and soul. He brought Leona closer. He whispered. “I love you my friend.”  She smiles holding his hands tightly. They are within 50 yards  of the whale.
Leona closes her eyes. She does a silence prayer. She thanks the whales for their song. Their song told her to go and save a friend life in her dream.  She heard a whisper in the ocean breeze.

Love comes when it is given without the want of the love to be returned.

Dec. 2010