This Wednesday’s literature extract resumes from Part 2:
I realise that all things good about myself are not in me but others close to me.
After a while Susan wandered over.
She opened the door and wiped a tear from my cheek, inspecting the wetness on her finger – surprised as I was to see it.
She smiled, her scarlet lips and white teeth.
Susan drifted the sliding door slowly across her face staring into my glassy eyes. Then I noticed a tear running slowly down her cheek. The intensity in her eyes as she probed our long silence, I’ll never forget.
“Mummy look at this,” Jessica trumpeted.
Susan half-heartedly turned around and looked back at me longingly. Her lips motioned the words “I love you”.
She understood where I was.
Susan rejoined the children and became lost again in kookaburra land.
The moment could have got lost. But it hasn’t. I reclaimed it. The story did not die that night. It is a picture already complete. Never forgotten. Fact. Old men forget. I haven’t. I won’t. Even though in time this family left Creswell, this place that was once ours became someone else’s. But I will never leave this moment behind.
This was finally the Good Life. A wondrous slowness of time, which can’t be undone even though the kisses are all but spent. This is how the story must end because of the realization of ‘I finally got it right’.
No matter what I do; where I go, for all the beer I drink, the people I upset and stupid things done, at least I can say to myself in the end: I once had this thing that enabled me to stand up tall and give meaning to my life.
But tonight like a lost tribe they dance without me. Gone. I let it slip this thing I had. It fell apart. It cannot come back together again. I found out, when people walk away they do so forever.
The spell snapped and the world rushed back in.