Closing out a warm day (by Bay Area standards), the evening had turned a bit chilly. The moon, partial tonight (I like to think partial to me and all that I see), shines bright above the bay. The sky is still blue, sitting atop stray clouds of pink and lavender, different shades of white. I can almost see a phoenix rising, and wonder if Jean Grey is still alive. It’s quite a bit windy. Jimi Hendrix plays in my head, and the “wind cries Mary”.
Taylor and I had gone for a hike this evening after I brought home the bacon. It had been quite some time since we last went on one, fewer and farther between with my work schedule and his age. Tonight felt different; and I could tell that he wanted to go for a hike too. We walked through the woods, the sun’s rays breaking through the dense foliage, casting intricate shadows upon the terrain. We visited Fernwood Cemetery to pay our respects to the dearly departed and the dearly beloved. And celebrate this thing called life. We were contemplating whether we should go crazy, elevator or no.
He had startled the woman sitting on the hill.
“Is that Myles?”
Relieved that my monster of an 80-year-old man-dog hadn’t scared her to the point of complaint, but instead was sort of contemplative. She had tears in her eyes, which I could tell she did not want me to acknowledge.
“No. That’s Taylor. He’s Myles’ friend.”
“He’s a big friend. How old is he?”
“He’s almost eleven years. I’m sorry if he came out of nowhere and bothered you.” I noticed the five long-stem red roses laying on the gravesite behind her. The sun’s golden rays shined directly upon the gravestone behind her, clearly one of importance as I could tell she’d been sitting there for quite some time.
“He just startled me. I usually come on Sundays, but I live in Santa Rosa and couldn’t come here yesterday. So I’m here to see my baby today. His parents live near here.”
I didn’t press her. Her eyes would settle her gaze upon Taylor while she talked about Dylan. She was really pretty, perhaps my age, maybe older, her skin golden, her hair black with brownish highlights more brilliant with the sun. She wore an old oversized, grey “Psi Chi Omega” sweatshirt, faded blue jeans and flip flops. She was folding her blanket as she was talking. While I felt like I had intruded upon a moment with her dearly departed beloved, she didn’t seem to mind, flip-flopping between talking about him and asking me about Taylor. They both enjoyed each other’s presence. I may have been the intruder, while Taylor was a welcomed guest.
Our exchange perhaps took all of five minutes, if that. However, I couldn’t get her out of my head. After taking Taylor back home, I grabbed a little wine and cheese and walked up to my pool. I’ve become partial to the Point Reyes blue cheese. If you haven’t had it, even if you don’t like blue cheese, try it. Along with uni, blue cheese was something I swore off my palette over two decades ago. Both have come back into my life. The Point Reyes variety is nutty and creamy, extremely rich (but not intensely overpowering like the Roquefort, though because I’m still a neophyte blue cheese fan, I’m told that the Roquefort is actually a medium bodied blue cheese, but I digress), and I can’t get enough of it. To wash it down, I opted for my current favourite wine — a Syrah from Ram’s Gate Winery. I love all of their Syrah’s; and tonight’s did not disappoint — the 2013 Hyde. Sign me up.
Taylor also wanted some blue cheese. Or Taylor wanted some wine. Or Taylor wanted both. He wouldn’t tell me, leaving it up to my own devices to read his mind. He knew better. I wasn’t a mind reader.
While I was signing myself up for some blue cheese and wine, I thought of this woman who had lost her love. And I wondered if I would ever see her again.