Today I went out to mail some packages. Because I was in the area, I stopped in at Bed, Bath & Beyond, thinking maybe I'd find stocking stuffers. I didn't, but I did find a few things I wanted so I made use of my 20% off coupon. I then thought I'd stop at Pizza Fusion and have some breadsticks and a salad, so I did that, and because they do not serve coffee I went next door to Starbucks afterwards to have a cup.
Pizza Fusion is an environmentally responsible pizza restaurant. I can't describe how good it felt to leave there without leaving a trail of non-recyclable waste behind me. I used a cloth napkin, my dishes and flatware were all reusable, solid. The table I sat at was solid wood, much of the finish of the place is done in bamboo, the bar counter is pressed recycled newspaper (and beautiful), and so on. So when I went into Starbucks I did not want to ruin the mood. I asked if they had a real cup and they did. I got my coffee in a mug.
I sat down in one of the comfortable upholstered chairs in this very nice Starbucks. Nobody else was nearby at the time. I took some sips and read my book. The book is a wonder, a terrific book by Alice Munro called Runaway
. The book is full of short stories, most actually about one character at different times of her life, and it's about love, all kinds of love. It's beautiful, real, solid, filling. I can't get enough of it.
While I was reading a couple of college women came in and claimed the two other upholstered chairs near me. They talked loudly to each other and to others who came in, and drew several young men to them and talked more. It became difficult to concentrate but I did not want to give up my seat nor my lovely coffee cup. I stuck it out until I only had a little more coffee in there, then put the cup on the counter and left.
The rain had started again and there were clouds and sun nevertheless and it was beautiful and cool. I felt lucky to be me, to be alive.
I decided I was strong enough to stop at the veterinarian's office, which was nearby, to pick up Bullet's ashes. I had avoided going there because I felt too fragile and did not want to start up crying again. So I managed, mainly because I did not know the young woman at the desk and did not see the vets I do know, and I was glad. I knew if one of them came out it would just start the gusher going again. I managed to pay, get the ashes, and leave.
Bullet is in a very nice wooden box, sealed tightly. I guess I am not going to be scattering those ashes any time soon. Yet I am not sure what one does. I don't want to make some sort of mausoleum, although that does sound a bit attractive when I think about it.
I drove toward home, watching a rainbow as I drove, listening to Chanticleer singing beautiful Christmas-themed music
. The music drove me forward, entered me, made me full of sadness and joy at the same time. My eyes were full of tears as I thought about Bullet, about how his last weeks seemed to negate the 20 years before that, yet the rainbow, the rainbow. I thought about the music and the rainbow and Bullet and how I would like to mix all three together.
As I write this I am crying again. Yet my day was not just one of sadness, of grief. I felt such surges of love for life, a full knowledge of how lucky I am really, even to be thinking about it all.