A Call for Help

During my move of the last months, a strange number kept showing up on my call display. There was never a message. A week of so ago the number showed again on my missed calls. There was a message in my inbox that was almost unintelligible. All I caught was: "You of all people should get it." The rest was a mumbling rant.

There have been times in my life when I enjoyed the flavours of tasty scotches. Single malt was my favourite but a good blend was fine as well. Alas, I cannot drink. One tasty beverage is enough to send me to the land of the incohorent and so I choose not to drink. There are some friends from my long ago who never came to that conclusion and I never judge them as it could be me still singing lullabies to stuffed animals and taking cabs home. My assumption was that this was a friend from scotch drinking days.

Today I was sorting through my cellphone bill and saw this number. I called it.
"Who are you again?" a very stern and gruff voice demanded.
Once explained I heard a very sad story.

This was the number of a lovely woman I used to practise singing with back in the Starlite Lounge days when I played for my supper. Because my name is memorable, she remembered me and somehow tracked down friends of friends who eventually hooked her up with my cell number. She had experienced rather too much loss in the last years and was facing 40 with cracks in her foundations. She remembered me in my losses. She knew I had somehow triumphed and wanted to know HOW.

Farewell Sarah Slink. Farewell and God Bless.
Her partner told me she went to bed last week in a flush of scotch and lorazapam and woke up in the next world. What to say?

We spoke for about an hour. I do not know this man except for our shared grief over this, a preventable loss. November is a horrible month for loss. Of course there is part of me that wonders if I had called back last month would things be different?
I suspect not as I could barely understand the confused mumbles and likely would not have been able to get through the haze of numbing.

It could be me.

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"The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering."

--Ben Okri