There were once three brothers who were traveling along a lonely, winding road at twilight. In time, the brothers reached a river too deep to wade through and too dangerous to swim across.. However, these brothers were learned in the magical arts, and so they simply waved their wands and made a bridge appear across the treacherous water. They were halfway across it when they found their path blocked by a hooded figure…
Sawako rubbed her eyes, “Daddy? You’re home.” She said with the slow tingle in her voice as if she had woken up. She began to walk towards me but I stop her, “Sawako, stay back.” I warn sternly.
She stops by the living room door and stare at me with confusion contorted on her face as well as worry, “You’re cheek and hand…you’re hurt."
I can see her fidget, she wants to come to help me. She is just like her mother. But yet I remain in my stance, watching her movements. But she stops and gapes at my hand, "Why do you have a gun daddy?”
“The leopard meets the tortoise on a lonely stretch of road. The leopard has been trying to catch the tortoise for a long time. The tortoise is a trickster, and so obviously has been escaping. And then on this day the leopard finally catches up with him and says, ah-ha. You know, now I’ve got you. Prepare to die.
And tortoise says to leopard: Can I ask you one last favor? And the leopard says, yes, why not? And tortoise says: Give me a short time to prepare myself for death. And the leopard looked around, said: I don’t see why not. Yes, go ahead. But then instead of standing still and thinking, as the leopard had expected, the tortoise began to dig and scatter sand all over the road, you know, throwing sand in all directions with his hands and feet.
And the leopard says: What’s going on? Why are you doing that? And the tortoise says: I’m doing this because after I am dead, I want anyone passing by this spot and seeing all this sign of struggle on the road to say: A man and his match struggled here.
And the moral of this is the importance of struggle, that we cannot - no one is going to guarantee us the outcome. Nobody’s going to say if you struggle, you will succeed. It would be too simple. But even if we are not sure how it is going to end, what success will attend our enterprise, we still have this obligation to struggle.”
Maggie O'Farrell’s This
Must Be The Place jumps between multiple storylines, points of view, times
and places to tell the story of an American professor who meets a reclusive
French actress on a lonely Irish road.
1. If you told me 4 months ago I would end up losing my three best friends I probably wouldn’t believe you although there would be that doubt in my mind screaming “MAYBE YOU WILL” from the deep corners of my worries and fears.
2. The bruises you gave me two years ago are no longer physically present yet I still feel the pain and sometimes I swear they’re still there because it hurts so much and it all hits me at 3 PM when I’m walking down a lonely road and I see something that reminds me of you. It still hits me all at once and I’m not ok for the next month.
3. I lay awake in bed till 3, 4, or even 5 AM thinking of “what ifs” or “how abouts” until my head is pounding and the room is spinning because it’s a possibility my life could have been so much better if I had kept my mouth shut or spoke more often and it’s reopening old wounds with old memories thinking maybe the way it ended could have been better.
4. People ask me what my biggest fear is and I tell them the ocean but in all honesty my biggest fear is fear itself because I do stupid things when I’m scared to get rid of that stupid cloud that hangs over my head that has me looking over my shoulder and chewing on my nails and I’ll down a bottle of whiskey to myself just to get rid of the darkness and I swear in that moment it won’t even burn.
5. Sometimes, and only sometimes I will remember, and it will hurt, It will lay heavy on my chest like a burden. It will hit me hard and knock the wind out of me. It will weigh down on my shoulders and not for the next hour or the next day but for the next week. I will remember and it will haunt me and the only way I know how to cope is to drown out the voices with poisons.
6. I miss it. I miss the warm bubbly feeling that spreads across my chest and down into my stomach after the first shot. I miss the comfort of knowing that for One whole night I will be able to forget. To forget everything, good or bad. To the point of forgetting your name and mine. I will forget what you did to me and what I did to myself. I will forget fights with my parents and fights with my friends. I will forget the friends I lost and the ones I’ve gained that don’t compare. I will forget what I need do.