While strolling through a warm meadow on a lazy June Sunday, something ripped me into a cruel parallel universe. Darkness presses in on every side with shadows and wisps of the meadow. Walking, running, or wailing into the void, I sojourn forward. Maybe it is not forward. Direction has no meaning here. I possess no map or compass to guide. Others have been through this desert but the hard surface records no footsteps.
I see snapshots of things that were. How did I not notice these vivid colors in the meadow? They grasp my heart when it shows him grasping my hand. I am reminded of long walks through mountains discussing science fiction, science, love, religion, and politics. This six-foot-tall boy is pushing into manhood doing engineering, research whatever accomplishments he desires with ease.
Though difficult to look upon, moving my gaze is horrifying. My boy left me with the teasing of ghosts and moving shadows. Things that would-have-been haunting the spaces around me. My future daughter-in-law with grandchildren that will never be are forever out of reach. A shadowy mountain is forever to my right, no matter which way I turn. The mountain a constant reminder of conversations lost.
My friends in the meadow see me walking. They speak about football, elections, and other trivialities. I see them; shadows moving beside me. Sometimes a message can get through the gulf between us but rarely do the two sides understand. I ask for directions out of this wasteland. I receive unhelpful advice to look up at the (non-existent) sun.