I have not yet grieved the end of the Home Van driveouts - all the amazing experiences, all the people I came to know and love - Jerry, Eva, Private Bill, "Ernest T. Bass," all the volunteers and the donators. The times we had. It just ended, like a pebble disappearing into a lake. I fell apart from long postponed exhaustion and stress. Took up life on the couch watching reruns. I don't know much about grieving. When I was young, people just disappeared. People believed, back then, in the 40s and 50s, that negative events should not be discussed around children. It was believed that children would just forget about them and go on chasing butterflies. If a parent died, his or her children did not attend the funeral. A friend of the family would take them to a movie. At some point they would be told, "Mommy went to live with Jesus." It was like being a character in a TV show, one dimensional. "Shots rang out, people fell dead," and then you walked off and ate a doughnut. Nothing had happened, allegedly. Nothing real. Nothing was real. I didn't know how to grieve. But I can now feel a deep sadness within me. The Home Van is gone and it took what was left of my middle-age with it. I am now a tired old woman. How do I do being an old woman? Life is like a soap bubble. And yet it all happened. Mystics and even many scientists believe that linear time is an illusion. So maybe it's still happening.
Goodbye Home Van. Goodby Tent City. Goodbye old friends. I remember old Pete's hat - a leather cowboy hat decorated with feathers, spanish moss, and a tiny stuffed teddy bear. I remember Eva's hallucinations of small children running through the woods. If they were. Perhaps, in times of extremity, parallel universes overlap. Then we give it a label, "alcoholic psychosis" Or, a glimpse into another world. Or a little flash of Godness - they happen here and there - many to be wiped out by the shallow beliefs of our little neuron-fueled logic radios, many to be treasured forever in our heart caves.
In a parallel universe, Katey is bringing a cup of hot chocolate to an old man sleeping behind a dumpster on a very cold night. It can't be much. He will be out there all night and we will go home. Still, maybe, just as there are flashes of Godness, in a dark and crazy world, we were flashes of reflections of Godness - and the chocolate is good. Freeman makes it with double chocolate and real milk and sometimes melts chocolate bars into the brew. The chocolate is good, and the moments of Godness - the reflections of these - maybe in unending mirrors - maybe that is what's Real, and what our soap bubble world is part of.