Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Charles Effect ...

I do not believe in accidents. Coincidence does not exist.

Today, I received an e-mail. The sender? A lower-case "n." Spam, I thought. I clicked, ready to move it to my junk folder.

"Hello Beth," it began. "I was and am a friend of Charles Barile."

Nick, the author, "whether by accident or serendipity" happened upon my blog last week and saw my post about Charles.

He was writing to say, "I felt you should know that your beautifully written piece truly illuminated Charles' indomitable spirit and brought him back to those who knew and loved him in a very heartwarming way." He told me that he shared it with Charles' family and they were "heartened."

It is days like today when I am eternally grateful that I am blessed enough to be able to express myself with words.

Writing that post was cathartic for me. I cannot understand all the emotion I still feel for him. As I said to Nick in my reply, I miss him all the time. Part of my feelings stem from never having the chance to see him one more time. Why did we cancel our plans to see each other? Why were we so smug and cavalier? "We'll do it another time." Fuck. We always think we have more time, but it is dangerous to dawdle. That was the lesson I learned from losing Charles. It was a very swift slap in the face. Some lessons cannot be learned lightly.

Thinking about Charles then, crying, I realized that he would absolutely not tolerate any sadness in his name. As I replied to Nick, writing something I knew would annoy Charles, I heard his voice in my head. His voice had an Archie Bunker-esque whine to it when he'd say, "Oh, shut up." I laughed at the memory of it. Charles hated schmaltz.

There is a skylight directly over my desk. Today, as I looked up, it framed a perfect piece of clouds and sky. "Hi, honey," I said, knowing he was listening, knowing he was here.

I picture him as a resident of Judgment City in "Defending Your Life," charming all his fellow residents in the poshest accomodations, resplendent in white, cubes clinking in his omnipresent glass.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, as I looked up, it framed a perfect piece of clouds and sky. "Hi, honey," I said, knowing he was listening, knowing he was here.

And yet you consistently deny God's existence?

2:45 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I didn't say that God was there, I said that Charles was there. Spirits can't live on unless "God" is present?

3:11 PM  

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