Life, after life

Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.
I read these words in a piece by Joan Didion, in fact I almost remember how the piece titled ‘After Life’ went.  Those were the first words she had written after it had happened, remembering the time the Word File had saved it. And then she never went back to it for weeks, she wrote nothing else.
Life changes in the instant. Instantly.
And then you try and recollect the moment it changed and realise how ordinary the moment was. How everything surrounding that one moment which changed your life was so very ordinary. At some point, in the interest of remembering what had happened that day, one tries to recollect everything that could be striking. I remember nothing. Yet there is no forgetting the moment that changed your life.

It was in fact the ordinary nature of everything preceding the event that prevented me from truly believing it had happened, absorbing it, getting past it.

How unremarkable the circumstances were in which the unthinkable occurred, the clear blue sky I saw from the plane, the ride back from the airport with jams and cars, the routine list of errands that was somewhere inside my purse, the home keys that often rattled inside my bag brushing against coins and pens, the freshly watered flower pots in the balcony of my home, the little games children were playing near the gate, the dirt that had long stuck the hinges of the wooden door, the sanitised floor.

And then inside, a home which no longer looked like one.

He had left, deciding never to come back


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