It’s been eight years since Chris died. I imagine his back diminishing into the Tucson desert — crossing the dry, cracked earth. He left his father by the side of the highway, calling his name, pleading. Chris continued across the Sonora, off the trail now, almost a shadow.
We were connected by music. Writing songs of penguins, cowboys and nothing in particular. Chris played the guitar expertly, I played the accordion, often discordant and whiny. It didn’t matter, how it sounded. Take after take, uproarious laughter… ballads made famous.
They found his body four hours later. Cause of death, dehydration. What was it like, to die alone? To melt into delirium?
I imagine his last whisper. Musical… perhaps a soft hum for peace, a melodic sigh of relief. I can only let myself believe that it was a welcome quiet. That it was a wish.
I have my own wishes, every day. To find solace, I paint — blending a night on earth into sky – casting the hues of a woman left wondering.