A Post For Salome

I always felt bad because when Stikey and I, at the tender age of about 15, decided to run away from home, we passed Salome in the street and lied to her about where we were going.

She could see that something was up. Two adolescent shit-kickers dragging a colossal tog bag up the road randomly in the middle of the afternoon. Not normal.

She asked us where we were going and I told her I was spending the night at Stikey’s place and not to worry about us and yes, our parents knew about it.

Then we high-tailed it up the street, jumped in a black taxi and drove to a Formula One hotel where we spent the night getting as wasted as humanly possible and freaking out completely that our parents were going to disown us.

We were asshole kids and we did a lot of asshole things, but lying to Salome like that, it never sat well with me.

I don’t remember if I ever apologised to her for that. To this day I still don’t know if my parents asked her if she’d seen me that afternoon and what she said.

I’m not sure it matters anymore. Salome died yesterday afternoon.

Let it be known, for as long as this junkyard site stands, that Salome was a  good person, that she went to church every Sunday and said her prayers, that she was a gentle soul and that she deserved to live longer and see her grandkids grow up big and strong.

Salome was young, younger than my mom is now when she died, too young.

She used to give the softest hugs.

I think that’s what I’ll remember about her the most. She gave the softest hugs and she had a great laugh that could always make you laugh.

And holy shit, she make the best goddamn chicken mayonnaise rolls you’ve ever tasted in your life! I swear to God, her chicken mayonnaise rolls were so good, I’d save them for the end of my school day and eat them on the rowing bus going back home with this big dumb smile on my face.

I’m older now and I understand that life is cruel, but why the fuck did it have to be so cruel to her? What the fuck did she ever do to deserve losing her daughter who died right next to Salome on the bed in the tiny room that Salome used to live in, what did she ever do to deserve that?

I remember one night she spoke to me about it, she came to me for answers, she wanted to know how the God she loved could do that, but what could I tell her? What the fuck do you say to  someone who’s been through that?

I hugged her because there was nothing I could say. I just hugged her for the longest time, until she’d stopped crying and I told her things would be ok, they would get better.

She used to give the softest hugs Salome, and if there is a God, she’s giving her daughter one of those hugs right now and they’re together in a world that’s much, much better than this one.




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