Friday, 23 June 2017

Natural's Horatio

Today is Carmen's birthday. Graeme told me she was afraid of being forgotten. Her life and story have left a special imprint on my life.

One day, Graeme asked me to read his tarot cards. He had never asked before (I'd only offered). I was jazzed. I threw down all the cards. I was instantly emotional. I said, Graeme I feel very emotional. What did you ask. 
He said, it's a yes or no question, tell me if the answer is yes or no.
I looked down at the cards and began to sob
I had no idea why
but I said, your answer is no. 
I asked again, what was your question 
Graeme was quiet. 
The tears still ran down my face.
I asked a third time. 
He said, I asked the universe if I would make it home before my sister died.
My sobs became ugly 
His flight was for 16 December 2016.
I said no. You won't make it home. 
Graeme changed his flight to 2 December 2016

I missed him. I was exhausted 
It was a Wednesday night
I went to my usual yoga class
Then my girlfriend & I grabbed the deep fried chips
There was a dog there 
Sitting alone 
I'm a sucker for a lot of things but not for animals
I respect their power 
But their like humans
We don't all click 
Also, like pregnant women bellies, I never touch a domesticated animal without the owners express consent 
Don't be rude cats. Know your boundaries

My boundaries were uncertain
I was drawn to this animal 
I came closer and sat on my knees in front of him 
Even though it was in public 
He was old
He was also tired 
His owners arrived and gave me the okay 
I took his delicate silver name tag between my fingers
I said out loud: Horatio 
And then to the owners: Hamlet's Horatio, what a great name.
They smiled with thanks.
I know nothing about popular culture let alone memorized facts from culture culture. I've never read, watched or discussed Hamlet. I don't know how I knew the character Horatio.

That morning around 2,3 or 4 am (I cannot remember the time) I received a call from my husband. He said: Carmen died a few hours ago. Some people are showing up now to take her body away. The family was dying. 

My best friend killed himself 2 days before he was 19 on 24 June 2017 after writing me countless poems and songs about how much he wanted to goddamn die. I always said no death would affect me as deeply as his.

I became the death guru. For the years ensuing, when friends lost someone, they'd say - go to Natalie Craig, she knows what to do. 

I still do.  When someone dies I can feel the moment where the world stands still, benevolently watching, for their soul to gently leave their lifeless corpse. 

The sky opens up. The world silently watches. Their soul throws back in laughter, shakes their hands, shoulders and worldly weight; laughs in joy and says I'm outta here baby.

That's what happened with Carmen. It's what happened with my darling Matthew, Adrienne's Mama, The infamous D Robinson and my mama's baby. 

Horatio means time keeper. He was there when Hamlet died. More importantly, he was secretly Hamlets' best friend and confident. He was there every step of the way. Even though no one could see it. 

I met an old, tired, blue heeler mutt named Horatio in the hours she died. She's not forgotten. Through this story she's alive. 

She died 4 days after her brother came home. He changed his tarot and she didn't die alone. 

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