Rarasaur’s Prompt for the Promptless this week is about Saudade.
“Saudade is a Portuguese word that describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something/someone who one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.” Rarasaur
I met my brother’s lifelong best friend when I was 2 years old. He was 2 years older than I. A small number but a lifetime in childhood. Two years can mean sitting like a BigBoy on the potty, or cheerfully filling ones’ diapers. Darrin was the sitter, I was the pee’er.
We had very little to do with each other. I vaguely knew of his existence, but generally my brother went to his house, and we were in different classes at church and our little elementary school. Meaningless daily sightings. But even unaware cyclic views cannot help but allow some familiarity of the other into ones’ soul. Without really speaking, I knew him. His quirks. His cockiness.
Darrin was my first non-family memory. I was trying to get into his house when I was very little, probably 2-3 years old. Their front step was REALLY high to my little legs. I climbed up and heard a commotion. And saw a boy bounce down the steps, do a somersault, land on his feet, and in one motion head butt his older brother. My hands went to my wide opened mouth, my eyelids receding into my face. And I said aloud, “THAT BOY!!!” It was the first time I really SAW someone as unique. And in my heart, Darrin was THAT BOY for the rest of his life.
Darrin was unique. Dyslexic, terribly so. ADHD had nothing on him. Absolutely fearless. A magnetic personality that attracted the smartest, the most beautiful people of his generation. He had a doctorate in social skills.
And I was terrified of him. He was everything I was not. Beautiful. Famous in our area. Loyal to a fault, mourning a broken relationship for 5 years. His parents’ despair. My brother’s Best Friend. The Best Friend Band (sneeringly called Larry, Moe and Curly by Yours Truly) was a powerhouse of antics and teenage explorations into the world of, well, EVERYTHING. Parties, drinking, girls, girls, girls. A little grass. And a lotta Atlantic City Boardwalk cruising.
Darrin could do anything physical when he put his will into it. In one year he earned double black belt in karate, as an attempt to get rid of the anger from a broken relationship that shattered his sense of well-being. The guy who could get any girl couldn’t keep the one he wanted.
I was the Girl He Couldn’t Talk To Without A Dictionary. My love of big juicy words did not sit well with him. Tell it plain and simple and don’t dress it up was his motto. My four syllable words were social suicide. But it hurt, and I turned my back on him and taught myself not to ever see him in a room. I did it so well that for seven years I only have three memories, all negative.
Darrin, myself, and the Great Glassed One (big bro)
I found out that he was Best Man at my brother’s wedding. I groaned. The Brat Pack was going to make my life miserable at a time-honored family event. But, unknown to me still, I had morphed into a bit of a butterfly. The Brat Pack saw me and laid their collective hearts at my feet. Darrin went one step further. He kept me safe from a person who did not have my interests at heart, and meant me great harm.
Despite this, it was impossible for me to forgive him and be friends, or more than friends. He tried, but I had resented him for too long. So I ran away and married. A few years later I received a sobbing call from my mom. Darrin was thrown from his motorcycle, going headfirst into a telephone pole. As a lineman for PECO (Philadelphia Electric Company), it was gallows humor at its’ worst. I was a wreck. It was only then that I truly knew myself. And my “what ifs’ ” have haunted me off and on for 15 years. Even though his death was a blessing in disguise. He was found on autopsy to have a rare cardiovascular disease that would have killed him in the next five years.
Thank God he died as he lived. To the fullest.