Interview with Man Who is Still Grieving

[Subject is wearing black slacks, white shirt, and black tie. He looks uncomfortable as he sits across the table from me]

It was taken, maybe, thirteen or fourteen years ago? I'm not really sure. And yeah, she passed away about three years ago now.

Q

It kind of sucks. I thought we'd have more time together. I kept, like, getting invited to visit her in the Philippines and I guess, I don't know, I feel really guilty about this but, I was, like, how do I put this? I was really in my own head that whole time, like, I'd get asked to come without having to pay, you know? But I'd be like, "uh, next time, next time, I can't really leave the states right now". And uh, yeah, just, I look back on it and uh, you know, hate myself a little bit [laughs nervously].

Q

Oh yeah, yeah. That's the last picture of us. I don't know where the physical copy is or anything, it probably got lost in a box filled with other pictures I should have on me at all times [laughs]. But I don't know. It kind of sucks, I mean I was barely a teenager in that photo. And like, a year or so before she passed, I think everyone went to go see her for her birthday and I was one of the only ones that wasn't there. So, like, I go visit my aunts or my uncles, you know? And just get reminded that I missed out on this big party for her. It's, uh, yeah. It is what it is, whatever the fuck that means

Can I just go to the bathroom real quick? Thanks.

[Subject returns, tie is loose, top button unbuttoned. Might have been crying. Eyes are puffy]

Where were we? Oh yeah. Yeah, uh, we spoke on the phone maybe a couple of days before she passed. It was alright, I guess.

Q

Really? Isn't that kind of invasive? Like, alright, whatever. I'll talk about it. [lights a cigarette] I know I can't smoke in your house but I'm fuckin' gonna, alright? I didn't think you'd want this much for whatever the fuck this is.

Q

Yeah, yeah, I'm calm. Don't worry about me. But yeah, so for about fifteen minutes she spoke to me in Tagalog [the Filipino language], I could barely understand what she was saying. But with tears in my eyes, you know I was just like saying "yeah, Lola [Grandma], yeah" and uh after that she broke into English and, uh, [starts tearing up] said uh, "Please shave your face" [laughs].

Q

[laughing, tears in eyes] Yeah, I don't believe it either. I mean, her last words to me was a reminder to shave everyday. It's the funniest fucking thing but it's who she was, you know? It's who she was to me, anyway. And no, I still constantly forget to shave my face. I'm probably, like, clean shaven a couple times throughout the year.

Q

I shave around her birthday, if I remember. Uh, for Mother's Day. And, uh, you know. Anytime she, uh, enters my mind.

[end of interview]

i did all that i could.
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