Chapter Forty Nine
The days went by and Kathleen was still in my mind, our time in New York was becoming shorter and shorter, and while the days of the almanac were gone one by one the thought of her scattered ashes all over the central park lake were in my mind as if paused for an extended period. The thing is, when I thought of Kathleen I did not think of a dead woman - no, I thought of a woman that was simply gone for the time being but one I would eventually see again. In the mean time however I would miss her greatly like now when I am about to tell Virginia the truth about me and ask her to marry me, it is moments like this when Kathleen’s advices would have been as valuable as a ruby.
For days now I kept on having the same dream,
I dreamt I was in a pond or a lake and that I was by the shore staring at a lotus flower.
I did not know what the lotus flower represented, but if Freud’s theories are any indications of dream interpretation then what I was dreaming was perhaps a representation of what I thought to be, a vagina.
Maybe it was because Virginia and I have been about to have sex so many times that psychologically my mind is placing symbols in my dreams….then again I was not much for Freud’s theories of dream interpretation.
It was very simple, I would tell Virginia the truth tonight marry her afterwards or simply avoid the truth entirely? No! I would not trip over the same rock again, with Sahid I learned that a lie can bring out the destruction of many things.
Between trying to interpret what the frequent dream of the lotus meant and missing Kathleen, finding the right way to tell Virginia the truth and still getting the jist of parenting Flora, my mind was a divided puzzle I did not know how to glue.
The thing is, I knew that dreams had a symbolic meaning. In the dream I lean down and pick up the flower from the pond, strangely enough it’s been consecutive- something that has never happened to me before, it must mean something.
As winter was approaching, everyone was geared up in jackets and scarf’s as most people do in Novembers.
I was invited to a cruise party, an event that takes place in the fall in the heart of Manhattan, well… to be exact the boat leaves Seaport and circles the island for about two hours while the guests inside enjoy music and cocktails from the bar inside.
Virginia and I were lucky enough to get a baby sitter to take care of Flora,
I was supposed to meet Virginia at the port before the boat took off, as I waited I forgot the charm of this island, the reflection of the moon was obvious in the water and though it was chilly it was good enough to be pleasant.
Surrounded by the crystal-like buildings I ceased to be amazed every time I observed how far mankind had gone.
While I waited I sat by the steps which surrounded the mall, I took a news paper and I tried not to cry for here I was scared of telling who would be my future wife about this poisonous virus that has taken hold of me and yet I look around and its nothing compared to the rape, the torture, the war, the suffering and the natural disasters that plague the world. Omitting off coarse our main threats, terrorism and global warming about to strike at any time, maybe both at once. If it’s not cancer, its aids, or a brutal murder, or a robbery, a homicide, starving people in poor countries, tumors and operations, deformed people, blindness, misuses of power like that of certain government dare I not be specify on, slavery, trifurcation, crimes of hate for ones sexual preference, ones color and ones beliefs…… and so looking at it objectively the darkness that surrounds the globe is far darker than any truth I have faced until now, the worry that plagues me, however, is that my Flora will grow in a world surrounded by all that and I may not be here to protect her from it all the time.
I guess in a sense she is like lotus, a pure white multi-petaled louts floating in a pond of darkness, and so Freud was right, our mind do conjure up symbols that take place of what really matters in the world, for Flora was to me that lotus I picked up and feared would be ruined in a dark world represented by the dark pond.
I am being reminded that I must use my time effectively before a truck strikes twice.
It is that which torments my soul, the thought that I may not be the father protective figure she will need. I looked at the moon again in remembrance of how far things have come, and I see that new fears develop and take place of the old ones.
I feared losing my money and my status and once faced with poverty I had no choice but deal with reality, I feared losing my freedom, yet I was a prisoner to my own desires and longings, I feared facing reality in general and ironically everything that has happened until know has been nothing but eye opening tests and lessons, and after overcoming each fear one by one I was for an instant fearless, until I lost my best friend.
Now I fear I may lose the woman I always knew I was going to end up with and the future of my child, and I suppose I will be faced with the reality of learning how to live without that fear.
Inside the mall there was a small book store, I looked in a book of metaphoric definitions to what it was that the lotus meant, and to my surprise its definition was very closely associated with Flora and the events that have taken place, and suddenly I remembered that by the temple where I meditated in India there was a small pond with floating lotus’s all over. I see now that they in fact represented far more than decorations as it did in my dream.
Indians believed that the lotus represented divine birth and surprisingly it also represents the cycle of birth and rebirth, which made sense given that the petals open and close with the rise and fall of the sun.
It was very simple….. The lotus was Flora, or perhaps life itself as an ever changing always transforming cycle.
I left the book store and waited for Virginia by the steps, fearing the boat would leave us because of her delay.
I heard the clacking of the shoes walking towards me, I turn around and there it is ….
In a silk pearl white dress up to her knees and pearls adorning her ears and neck, her eyes and her smile as always glowing in beauty and charm.
“I have been looking everywhere for you Mr.”
“my love I told you I would be here….we better hurry up if we’re to catch that boat on time….and may I add you look sensationally beautiful Virginia”
She leaned over and kissed me, I took her hand and we both ran to catch the boat after the signal was blown that the boat would soon depart, unfortunately by the time we got to the stairs the ropes were unwrapped and we had missed the boat
“Ahh damm this is my fault for being late, I am so sorry” Virginia tells me disappointed at the fact there would be no boat ride
“It’s ok, what I have to tell you require privacy anyways, Virginia come…” I took her hand
“There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you”
And I walk her to the balcony overlooking the water, the moon and the buildings with our backs to the mall
“Virginia I love you….you know that, and I want to make you my wife and raise Flora with you by my side, but before we move forth there are things about me you need to know…..”I cut right to the chase for she already knew what my intentions were…we had stayed up late nights talking about marriage.
Virginia looked at me somewhat scared
“Oh god you’re not going to die”
“Jesus no! “and I smile
I suddenly remembered when I was in the same role in India when I was about to tell Sahid the truth about me, and just like now we were by the water, I also remembered that the last time I opened my mouth to tell the truth I fell off a horse and lost my memory temporarily.
Angel stood there in front of Virginia nervous, this time however he was in his element, under the moon at night and in his city, now the second time around tends to be easier than the first. He was controlled but hesitant in speaking, Virginia began to expect the worse, in fact what she thought he was going to do was propose which is why her smile was plastered on her. She looked like a bride in her silk white dress and her pearls, he looked like a groom in his black blazer and white shirt.
“Virginia…..I ….. I ….am …….HIV positive”
The silence was awkward, she got serious, and looked at him with an icy look…however her stare did not dictate any emotions of feelings….it gave no hint as to what lied beneath those blue eyes….
“I wanted to tell you before, when we were in Africa, but I just had things to work out….I wasn’t ready you know…..look, you know that I…..”
He had not finished his sentence when she took her hands and placed them on his cheeks and kissed him
“You are the man I love, you are the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, with or without a virus”
Angel looked shocked given that what he expected was a dramatic reaction and or an overly emotionally uncomfortable one,
“I don’t understand…” he tells her teary eyed and with a smile
“Your healthy, you are strong, you look good and you are raising a child…you think a man who spent his past year taking care of his best friend is a man I can look at and walk away from? Angel, ever since you told me you loved me that day on the beach my soul felt something I have not been able to feel again for no one else, you are the one for me”
He hugged her and kissed her, still shocked that this was her reaction.
“Did you know anything?”
“well when you decided to not sleep with me despite the massive hard-ons you had, I just knew something was going on…and I remembered in Africa you were just different, as if uncomfortable…I had an idea that’s all…never sure though ”
“Virginia I don’t know what to say, thank you….you have made my second speech easier …”
“There’s more?” she asked jokingly
Angel reached inside his jacket pocket and took out a little box, got down on one knee and extended his hands to Virginia’s
“Will you be my wife?”
She looked at him “not just your wife Mr. Olmos, I’ll be your partner in all”
Angel slipped the ring into her finger and got up to kiss her.
And it was here in Seaport, by the water and under the moon with the stars brighter than usual with a kiss caressed by the wind that a marriage was sealed.
A lotus is a pure flower that lives in swamps yet remains untouched by the dirt, it closes its petals when the sun sets and opens them back when it rises.
A beautiful flower, not very common with so many petals one would wonder how a thing so graceful can be real, and just like that flower that floats in the black water and remains untouched, there are people that can relate, and life itself is not so different, or is it….for isn’t this a cycle that constantly changes?
Yes, a Lotus is indeed a beautiful thing.
I had found that special lotus in the midst of this dark pond, that special person that I was connected to in spirit and soul.
I was lucky I had ….
And Angel remembered the twenty third poem from that mysterious book he found in the beach that one night…..
We all need someone to teach us, and guide us through
To help us, love us, and show us what’s false and true
We all need someone to offer us support and a listening ear
To bring happiness to our lives,
Filling our days with laughter, joy and cheer
In that special someone I would like to find
Someone who can stimulate my body, my heart and mind
I wish to feel deeply swep’d of my feet
And to feel my breath taken away, beat by beat
I look for a spiritual connection, from which much I wish to learn
In a wiser partner, full of guidance can fulfill my yearn
It’s hard to find someone who can penetrate your core
Who can offer you a profound and deep look
Leaving you wanting more and more
We all want to feel protected by that special mate
Who can offer you stability and strength,
and one who won’t debate
But it’s hard to find someone who is designed just for you, by fate
To be honest it’s really worth the wait
Even if they arrive on time, soon or late
What I’m trying to say is, don’t look no more
When you are ready, you will find what you’ve been searching for
And you won’t look back to the ones you’ve had before
So believe that someone is out there for you
Who will come to your life, sent from God
…And out of the blue.