tracing lines on a face

People come and go out of all of our lives.

But some make an especially strong impression.

When looking at photos of a special someone I used to know, I trace the lines that build his face, eyes, mouth, lips, and hair.  I wish I had more photos of his back and torso, legs and hands, the rest of his body.  But I am thankful at least that I have photos of his face.  I can remember at least his face, even if the rest of him fades away as memories dull.

Actually, just such a fear prompted me to ask him to make a voice recording for me.  I had deleted a previous one where he read some encouraging statements I wrote to remind myself that life could go on and that I could become a different person.  That I could become a happy person or happier than I had been beside him.

However, this second voice recording was genuine, his own words, slightly goofy and sweet and included his natural intonation and even a cough.

That brief message and so many photos from our life together: these consist of the evidence of a history I may someday forget.

But for now, I can’t forget or move so far away. Instead, I trace lines of his face in my favorite photos.  I trace the lines of a face of someone I used to know.

Goodnight, Ben

Once there was a very silly boy named Ben. He wore sweaters on hot sunny days, exercised at the wrong times, and took naps right before bedtime.
Clearly Ben is a very silly boy. But he looked very dashing in his sweater and did everything else at the right time except for exercise and naps. But for the latter, Ben took a warm bath, drank a cup of chamomile tea, and listened to a bedtime story. Afterwards he fell quite deep into sleep and stayed well asleep all during the night.
Good night, Ben.