The Stranger's journey has now come full circle.
Join me in the bright sunshine at When Words Go Free...

There are still stories to be told.
Read them at The Stranger Looks Back.

The Companion

The stranger looked at the lifeless body of his faithful companion of the past four years, and he remembered.

He remembered the day the companion had arrived, looking young and smooth, even though it had already lived over half its life, and he remembered how, when he had first taken a closer look at the companion, he discovered the sordid past that had lain beneath the surface, and how he had painstakingly cleansed the companion of its former sins and given it a fresh start.

He remembered how the companion had been a fellow traveller in some ways, but in so many more ways a guide - a gateway to magical worlds of mystery and wonderment, and, in so many ways, to the world that was his life today.

He remembered the journeys they had taken together to the refugee camps of Africa, the Commonwealth Summit in Trinidad, the wastelands of Russia, Windsor Castle, and other journeys whose stories they had told together. He also remembered the other journeys the companion had joined him on, those whose stories had not yet been told, and which he was now left to tell alone.

He remembered the eve he had planned to leave the companion behind for a night to take a road trip to the-point-of-no-turning-back, and how the companion bade him instead to take a journey to a world of a whole different sort.

And oh, how he remembered that world, where they sojourned together through the pyramids and the enchanted forests and the battlefields and the fashion shows, and even the second circle of hell, those many months, and he remembered the stories they told of their journey as they went along. He remembered the friends the companion had introduced him to, some of whom had travelled with them for but a short distance, and some of whom he still exchanges postcards with to this day.

He remembered the night he knew it was time for that road trip, and how this time, the companion did not bid him to stay, but rather wished him well and sent him on his way, but that's another story...

He remembered the day he set off with the companion to close down an experiment he had been engaged in that had seemingly failed, and how the companion suggested that perhaps he had been so intent on a particular result that he hadn't seen any other possibilities of success, and how, on a whim suggested by the companion, he tried a different approach.

He remembered when the initial result that came forth from that approach, as conveyed by the companion, had knocked him clear off his chair, and how the companion had been with him every step of the way over the weeks and months that followed, as the experiment faded and the wonders of the real world filled his life.

He remembered how the companion, then growing weak with age, had welcomed the more robust arrival that allowed the companion to enjoy a semi-retirement of sorts, still travelling back and forth with him (as the new arrival was rather stationary), but relieved of most of its active duties.

He remembered how he had recently intended to bring the companion out of semi-retirement and back into service, taking back the bulk of the work from the more recent arrival, how he had prepared the companion for the tasks ahead, and how the companion had shown itself capable with one last burst of energy before giving up the ghost.

He remembered how he had told himself that technically, the companion was not dead, but rather in a coma. And he remembered how he realized it would be wrong to attempt the surgery that might awaken the companion, not because it might fail, but because it might succeed. The companion had more than earned its eternal hibernation..

The stranger looked at the lifeless body of his faithful companion of the past four years, and he remembered.  and he knew it was time to let go.

In memory of Wilbury (2004 - 2013)

No comments: