The first thing I remember from my childhood is carrot juice. Painted with orange, vivid red days, that went by slowly, as if dignified. There was something of a cat in them, lazy, old, and very clever, which observes the world through narrowed feline eyes. Still, when I see on the store shelf a bottle of carrot juice, I am struck by the contrast between life then and now.
Then, came the death of my first dog. I was too young to understand death, but when the dog did not return for a long time, I began to worry. I asked where he is – parents were responding that he went onto his longest journey, and I still didn’t understand what it meant. I was drawing the dog ‘s eyes in a notebook, hoping that my care will bring him back. It didn’t. And it lasted until a year later I realized what really happened.
My father’s illness. It started innocently, with a cough. Father was coughing, was often talking very seriously with my mother, my mother cried. For several years I thought that everything will be fine, it’s just a cough, so insignificant. It will pass. I did not love my father, but every rattling sound coming from his throat reminded me in a strange way the longest journey of my first dog. After five years, there was blood. Hospitals. Living practically on a weak, almost invisible thread. Mother was afraid of what will happen to her, she could not live without him. Even if love has expired. I accepted his last days with indifference. I lived in another dimension, and I was not concerned. As he never was my father. Whom, after all, I didn’t love. Still, the weightless feeling of freedom from his drunken self turned into the bitter taste of rot.
Then came the relationships. Or rather, one unique relationship, which had almost no future. I looked for a submissive girl without her own opinions, which I could manage to take care of, as I called it stupidly. Young teenager caring for someone, to fill the void? That should be put into a joke book. However, the relationship with a girl who is not a partner, doesn’t have her own opinion, with which who is impossible to speak to not make her nod in agreement, is only a bland substitute for love. In addition, she broke up with me. Her mother ordered to do so, I was an outcast, an odd one, and she was always listening to her mother.
Colorful years. Beautiful. Butterflies in the stomach. Roses before the window. Cats basking in the sun. The smell of fresh bread. Joy. Sadness. Then a sudden collapse. Which was as needed as painful.
All these years led to that point, to the special time of being thirty-eight years old. When everything has changed and I finally stopped feeling anger for the dog, who chose to go on his longest journey… without me.