Wren Gradey

looking for the secret


- is it ever really what we want?

Kate's body trembled. 'Missing?'
'Like gone, missing-person, missing?'
'Out of the blue, he's gone?'
Her head sat stoned silent. The question had to gather from somewhere else. 'When?'
'It's been years. About seventeen, I guess.'
'A long time,' came out of Kate's mouth.
'You don't know what happened,' she realized.
'I know enough,' Roslyn's voice knew low and certain.
Kate remembered she was asking this information from Frank's wife. 'Can I hear about it? Will you tell me?'
'Of course. We were supposed to meet at the house. I went to meet him at the house. His things were there, his bags and clothes lying around as though he'd been having a normal day. He was nowhere to be found.'
'What house? Your house? The place you lived?'
'The house where we sometimes stayed. The place,' Roslyn smiled, 'by the sea.' Her voice took up a steady cadence. 'The sea that breathed like a giant water organ. With unbound, uncontainable lungs. Infinite capacity for visible expression of what stays always unfolding.'
Kate listened knowing who she listened to.
'That a house could try and stand against it, a human building flickering defiant love for its own foolhardy brilliance, that it could stand at the edge of delivering devastation is the mirroring beauty to all that inevitability. The kind of place you go to face cancer, have that last dripping fix. It's a place without tomorrows you don't ever have to leave. Where everything is profound. Where a sharp arrowhead cloud draws meaning from eyes watching it trace the sky burned by the heat of how much it all is.' Roslyn stopped. She started over, 'my last love letter. It was on the papers blowing across the floor the day I opened the door to find him gone.'
Kate blinked.
Roslyn finished it. 'Frank perpetually tried what he was unable to do because the attempt brought it on even more. He loved the onslaught too much. You think he was above having it? He wanted to have it most of all.' She sighed, 'I saw it as a disease. Rejecting his daily world. Trying to suppress its finite side by staying in chase of the eternal. Not that I'm denying the sad splendor in that.'
Then she went quiet.