“I just can’t get over Rob dying. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. How did you get over Joe’s death?” she asked her friend through her tears.
“I didn’t.” her friend replied with a smile.
“What do you mean?” the response confused her.
The friend took a deep breath, “The term fighting grief is misleading. You can’t fight it. Trying to make it go away is a mistake. It will stick to you more. You have to just allow it. Make it a part of you. When you learn to live with grief, grief finds it hard to live with you.”
The friend knew she would not get it so fast.
That was another problem with grief.
“They say you stopped acting?” the old director was worried about his prodigy.
“Yes, i can’t. I am tired of the spotlight. I am just tired of criticism. I am tired of people writing crap about me.” the young actor was in pain.
The director put a loving hand on him, “There is a rule about criticism in the spotlight. Listen carefully to what they say about your work. Don’t give a fuck what they say about you. You are not what you do. That’s just a part of you.”
The young actor hugged his mentor and sobbed hard.
“You have been doing my makeup since i was a struggling actor. Today i am a star and important people have invited me for a party. But you don’t seem happy?”
The aging makeup man smiled, “Of course i am happy.”
The star wasn’t convinced, “Don’t lie!”
The makeup man smiled a sad smile, “The ones who call you after success won’t after failure. If you give them the power to respect you today, you are giving them the power to disrespect you some day.”
The star stared into the mirror a long time. He knew his makeup man had been a father to him again.”
“My advice, don’t marry her.” he told his son.
“I know depression. I have been there. All this talk of asking them to talk you, being compassionate, being present is bullshit. It’s a illness. A complex illness.”
The son sighed, “But i love her dad, deeply.”
The father shook his head, “She will make it very hard for you to love her, believe me.”
The son looked at the rain falling outside.
What kind of illness was this that made a person feel they did not deserve love?
At that moment he decided to beat her illness with his love.
“I can’t deal with this anxiety anymore. This lockdown has destroyed my mind.” he cried to her.
She held him close, “What is making you anxious baby?”
He took a deep breath, “This uncertainty, will my business be the same? The contracts? Money?”
She smiled, “Remember when we were in college? We were so certain of our future? There was nothing certain even then really. It was just that our hearts were certain. Certainty is a present mindset. Not a future event my love.”
He nodded and then put his head on her shoulder.
“We need money for rent, school admission for the kids, the car needs to be serviced!” she yelled at her husband.
“Yeah, i know.” he mumbled.
“You know? That’s no solution.” she couldn’t believe this guy!
“Baby, you married a companion. Not a solution. We shall deal with things together.” he said with a loving smile.
At that moment she felt so much love for him and she knew once again why she married him.
“They are taking down statues of people who had once advocated slavery.” the angel informed God.
“You must be happy?” she asked.
God smiled and shook his head.
“Typical humans.” the angel rolled her eyes.
“You are never happy!” the angel complained.
God looked the angel square in her eyes, “When they need to change the future they are busy wiping out the traces of the past.”
“I love Joe very much, but i don’t know….. i love Bob too!” she confessed to her friend.
“Don’t be ridiculous! That’s nonsense!” the friend did not buy it at all.
“Why? What is ridiculous? Is it not possible to love two people at the same time?” she argue back.
The friend took a moment to respond and then she said, “I don’t know about loving two people. But i do know that sometimes love is an excuse lust uses.”
“I will never forgive you!” he hollered at her.
She smiled and said, “Not forgiving me is not good for you.”
That confused the hell out of him.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
She sighed, “All the people around you will hurt you one day or the other. Most will apologize. But when you can’t forgive you will find yourself getting very lonely. And i don’t want you to be lonely.” she kissed him on the forehead and left.
He kept looking at the closed door long after she was gone.
The meeting had been stormy.
Jeff was upset but Sam seemed unperturbed.
“How come you are so cool? Don’t you get upset?” Jeff asked.
“Not at all.” Sam responded cheerfully.
“Why?” Jeff asked.
“All arguments are an attempt to say that my of thinking is better than yours. But i have no need to bring anyone to my point of view. My truth does not need company.” Sam sipped on his coffee with a smile, while Jeff suddenly saw the world in a new light.
“What advice would you have for these children?” the dean asked the famous marathon runner in an assembly of college students.
“Learn to be patient. Success will come.” the runner said.
“When you are impatient you get dejected, that turns to sadness, which turns to depression. And then you become someone else.”
Max was one of the students. The advice changed his life. He stopped needing his depression pills.
“When we first met you were full of life, outgoing and fun loving. Where is that man i fell in love with?” she cried out loud.
He did not raise his voice, “He is gone.”
“Why? That’s not the promise of love!” she countered.
He smiled, “Love is not holding on to what we were but keeping in step with what we are.”
She looked at him for a whole minute and then rushed across the room to hold him.