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Look up to the skies

published: 2011-05-01

Blossom snow. Swallows that dance above our heads.
“Last time I saw you you were pregnant!” and I moved my hands towards her in enthusiasm, ready to embrace her, or for her to gloat over a picture.
“Yes,” she said, “I was.” And it was clear to me. I didn’t need her tears to tell me the story of how she had lost her baby girl.
“At six months,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
We apparently embrace a woman we have only met once before in joy, but do we also do so in grief?
I did. She allowed me to for a moment and then distanced herself by looking for a tissue We were silent for a while. So I asked, “what happened to her?”
She explained what had happened. Then we both lit a cigarette even though we both do not smoke, opened a bottle of wine, put our sunglasses on and stepped outside.

Outside, the world was still partying. On and on and on. Drunken, hysterical crowds that did not look up to the skies.
Another woman I had only briefly just met frowned as a stoned teenager asked to use her toilet. “Oh dear lord no, I’m not letting all those filthy bacteria into my home.” I laughed because I thought she was joking. She gave me a forced smile. Later, when I asked who her children were, she pointed at a seven year old girl and said, “the bald one.”
She did not cry, she simply stated: “chemo”. End of story. Nice to have met you. Goodbye.

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