Nostalgia? Not Quite

My father was always doing everything he could to make us happy. And I was always grateful.

But now, my father has passed. It has been six-years since I’d seen in him in that hospital room. They’d shaved his moustache; for the nasal cannula. I was eight then and the first thing I felt once I saw that, was that they took away something precious, something I thought was untouchable. He was-to me that is-a lion that had his mane shaved, involuntarily.

He died there, in his coma. He didn’t feel a thing. I cried, a lot. Just once; I never cry more than once over a dead person.

But honestly, I don’t remember him anymore. Not his face though, I know that. And not only from photos. But no specific events, just his halo, his presence.

He wasn’t always around; he was usually travelling for his job. He was as a Chief Steward in the hotel Le Meridian Makadi Bay formerly. Now it’s Tia Heights Makadi Bay.

There wasn’t a year we hadn’t spent at least a month there. I’d spend the whole day by the pool; the warm water enveloping me, the sun landing on my slightly burned skin, Watching people’s legs moving in slow motion in shades of blue underwater. We had  this secret place ̶ that wasn’t really secret ̶ under the little wooden bridge connecting the edges of the pool, where me and my sister would stand, and watch ̶ At least I would ̶ the reflections of the sun’s light on the water, on the bridge’s damp insides. Making all these beautiful light blue shapes. Like tens of shards of blue mosaic glass.

And then we’d go home before at about sunset. Passing the lobby, and the wide green garden, where the owner’s dog almost caused me a heart attack. And passing by the many complexes and the gardens in front of them.

There was this one spot, a few complexes after the one our room was in, which had a little swing set, and a little pool, and a striped shezlong. No matter what the season was, the huge tree casting the cool shadow overhead was always shedding yellowish, crunchy leaves. I would beg my sister every day to let us play there before going to the pool. And she occasionally agreed. I never actually found out who this belonged to, it was always deserted. Except for once. when a half naked old man was perched on the shezlong. Weird.

The lobby at night was majestic, its off-white color brought out by the yellow little lights. Turning heads with its round top against the purple sky. The inside was no less attractive; a pianist was always there, moving his fingers swiftly on the keys, like he owned them; the marble setting; the curved stairs. Everything about it screamed: Look at me, I’m marvelous. And you can’t dare leave.

We had friends, and everything, but the thing about that place, what made it special, was that it was special. It was our place. And I loved it. It was a part of my life. But it hasn’t been for six years now.

I’d like to go there now, go to underneath the bridge, and marvel at the patterns. And look at the sun from under the water. I want to go there, and go to our bathroom there, and take an hour long bubble bath. And I want to go there and stand under the lobby’s curved marble stairs, in the shadow, close to the pianist, but enough for him to see me, I wouldn’t want him to see me; he was something bigger than, he had to be; he produced such beautiful melodies, he had to be.

I want to linger on the little things, the ticks, the things that last in my head, and make their little imprint in my brain. The memories that are inactive for the longest of times until they’re triggered by distinctive smells and tastes, even sights.

Those are the things I want to remember. Those are the things I want grasp again. If just for a little while.

I don’t believe in yesterday. I only believe in tomorrow and today. But I amhuman, I still sometimes look back. Just for the heck of it.