“It has been a difficult few days. I went through a box of photos; there are only a few of me, perhaps no more than 20 but each one with its own web of stories. The one who took it and is gone now, the one I was thinking of and is gone now, the one next to me, again in most cases gone.” This, I wrote exactly one year ago.
The photo of me you see in this blog was taken by my friend Lina, in Ostende, on May 1st four years ago. I remember the day clearly; we walked on the beach, a warm and breezy day, had a beautiful lunch, the famous ostende sole and wine, and finally crossed the pier to its very end and she insisted on taking this picture.
Lina is gone now. She died a young woman. We said our goodbyes a few days ago, and I silently promised her to keep our shared thoughts alive, her secrets in a drawer in my memory, her mother in my arms, and her daughter close to me.
It was a strong friendship. It unexpectedly started in 2004. I was new in a grey city, full of technocrats. She was there to make my living easier, and soon enough she became indispensable. We confided each other with the most private secrets, we cried together, laughed, argued, got disappointed and angry with each other, reconciled, supported each other. Everybody knew that they would find us together lunching on Saturdays, talking men and -usually- my affairs of the heart. She was there to console me over an unsuccessful haircut, a bad boyfriend, my financial despairs -a result of reckless, non-programmed living . She was there to hold my hand in the hospital. She put together my Ikea bed and every time I used it more enthusiastically, I would hear the screech coming out of the horizontal bar.
She is gone now and five years of memory are left to me to care for. My five years are gone with her but I trust she will cherish them and she will hopefully keep them secret, not knowing anything of the arrangements over there.
Friday afternoon I will be at the airport, waiting for her, one last time.
P.S. I know you were reading this blog and had your share of questions regarding my cryptic and at times confusing entries. I wish I had told you more about it, and what is hidden behind some of the lines. But I guess you now know it all. And this is the only thing that comforts me, that you now have complete understanding of all that was troubling you, all that were unanswered.