Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 16, Barcelos, part 2

After lunch, we walked in silence, listening to the rain and the tapping of our hiking sticks. I was about 20 steps behind JH and Gyueon and had my hood up and couldn't see anything but rain and cobblestones. I was beginning to think we were going in circles and a simple country upright bass riff was shuffling in my head to the rhythm of my stick and feet. Then, I added guitar, slide guitar, fiddle and drums, composing in my head. The lyrics just popped into my head.

-You might think that maybe you might have walked this road before.
-but you haven't
-that was yesterday, hey hey

-you might think that maybe you might have kissed your girl before
-but you haven't
-since the last time, her feelings have changed, hey hey

-you might think that maybe you might have heard this song before
-but you haven't
-it just sounds a lot like Band of Horses covering 'Okie from Muskogee' [rhyming with hey] [sorry]

-you might think that maybe you might have eaten a ham and cheese sandwich
-but you haven't
-that was breakfast, this is lunch, hey hey

Then I thought of a bridge and chorus.

Bom caminho woohoo
Bom caminho weehee
Everything is the same as you can see
Bom caminho woohoo
Bom caminho weehee
Everything's as different as you and me

I was cracking myself up at more verses I made, verses too stupid to share here. In my mind, every one of my musician friends was playing along, adding verses and solos and we were playing to a very large and very enthusiastic audience.

Suddenly, I was on the brink of breaking down and crying. In the midst of this spectacle, I started thinking about my younger brother who died unexpectedly in March of 2009. For the next 30 minutes in rain that had become heavier, I fought back tears while the ridiculous song kept shuffling along.

JH and I flew to the States for his wake. A week later, I was back at work, scheduled to teach a unit on family, but I skipped to the next unit.

As soon as the next semester ended, we flew back to the States to visit family and scatter Derek's ashes in various places.

At the time, my parents lived on the beach in New Jersey, Derek had lived very close. We all loved the beach. My older sister Kim, Derek and I would always swim out over heads and just float and try to body surf. That summer Kim and I took a little Baggie of Derek with us and released them into the choppy waves, and body surfed.

Derek worked as a clammer for awhile in a nearby inlet. That job scared him every time he had to lift a catch of clams ip inuo the boat, temporarily getting submerged by the weight but he worked hard at it and enjoyed it. We scattered more ashes along the shore where he clammed.

Next, we took a road trip to New England. The family living in the house that we lived in for 25 years allowed to look around. We scattered more of Derek in the creek we played in.

One of his favorite places was the White Mountains, in New Hampshire, especially along the Kangamaugus highway. We think we found his favorite creek and tipped in some ashes, standing in the water until our feet were numb.

Derek never would have done this trip but he would have approved. He would have coped better with the discomfort, walking through mud and puddles. He liked traveling.

The song kept playing.

I added a new verse, but it won't be on the album:

-I guess you think that maybe you might have gotten over the worst part of losing someone.
-but you haven't.

Eventually I caught up to JH and told her what had been going through my head. We walked on holding hands. She'd been thinking about her mother who passed away 4 years ago after a long illness. We asked Gyueon what he'd been thinking about. "Just funny things my friends do," was all he would say. He doesn't remember his grandmother.

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