I'm waiting for grief as I would wait for the train. I know I have to get on it now that the destination has been announced but the screen stares blankly back at me and I think I can feel the vibrations of sadness under my feet, but I can't be sure. Maybe it'll just be another five minutes or, an unbearable thought, it will never arrive at all?
Since grandma died, I so wanted to know you better, her son. The gentle intellect - the books that climbed the wall on sagging shelves - and an ear inclined to listening rather attentively not just because you'd been hard on hearing for as long as I had known you, but because you were brought up with, and had an inclination for, fiery and articulate women.
I feel as if we both had a lot more to say for ourselves, to each other, had there been airtime and a more immediate ease between a young woman and a man detached by years and partial deafness. So nod sagely you would at my side, murmuring affirmatives in a low hum that would pass through me with warmth in their tone and familiarity. "Yes." You would drawl with the loveliest British inflection, "Yes."
When you wanted or were beckoned to, you would come to life, relishing the subject and approaching it with careful delight. There was a considered and theatrical air to your narrative and, at times, a distractedness when you were led away, initiated by a thought. A seasoned storyteller, you would grasp the air with a hand and draw us into your tales before pouring another glass of wine.
Everything else I knew about you was secondhand: the smiling pictures from France, your name inscribed inside old books, your handsome looks inherited by your children and their children... and, recently, news of your faltering health: a heart like your father's - the grandfather I never met and, who I am told, raised his hand as if speak and never spoke again.
And so it is that you, too, will never speak again and that the opportunity to know you as I had wanted to, has gone.
I look at the clock, the page, impatiently, and see that grief has lingered here, and that it might only be a little while before he fully arrives.