An Edge Of Time
Vida Janulaitis

The world bicycle tour sounded exciting. He was the type of guythat could've talked me into anything, and still be trusted. He was a real Renaissance man. After all here I am in another country, Patagonia.

I don't speak their language, I don't understand their customs, but I love the music, the passion, the lust for life. I'm dancing in the moonlight. At the village store we said good-bye and I went inside, he was going for a walk. He never came home. Never.

By midnight all my friends came to help look for him. I stayed by the phone in case he just forgot to call. "Sorry hon, but I just got caught in the moment, be home soon."

The next night I went for a ride to nowhere. When it got cold and dark I started to wonder where I was....where he was. Did I pass him on the road? Looking at the stars in the deepest, darkness of the night I bargained. Please God, let him be alright.

We made a living by shearing sheep and selling the wool. In my spare time I got my loom set up and made my own masterpieces. My favourite subjects being penguins. These comical characters took me from desperation to laughter, earning me a reputation as the local artist. I stayed because I knew he was close by, at least I knew that in my heart.

I became a widow before my time and I also found out I was dying. I couldn't run from this. I needed to share with my best friend and he wasn't around. Why the hell wasn't he around for me?

During the nights I dreamt of him, holding me and making me laugh. I remember that sweet passion.

At this same time the local police found a body that had fallen off the cliffs. Sometimes it seems God doesn't hear you. He wandered off, slipped and tumbled down to his grave. But that doesn't explain my feelings about him, hearing him. Why do I turn around at the sound of his voice only to find he's not there? He haunts me at every waking moment telling me not to give up, to believe I can live forever. He says I have to, that's the only way people are going to remember him. So I've built a little white store and continue in his memory what he loved best. He loved me and my art.

First published: August 2001