DEAD MAN’S CHEST
Today as I was achieving Nirvana in my meditation, the old phone jangled me from my travels. It was an emergency. A friend of mine had passed away suddenly and had left a note for me and in respect for his ancestry the authorities waited until I arrived to investigate.
When I arrived, they discreetly left the room and left me with Wano-San or his housing. He had a linen cloth draping his face and a dazzling white kimono with cranes embroidered on its front. He looked elegant.
I touched his parchment hands, cold as the Arctic, and slipped the note from his clutched hands, which suddenly opened and fluttered to my hand as a dove. And I had a mad moment of hope that my dear friend, my unrequited friend, would all of a sudden gasp and come alive. But his hands were so frigid.
The note and hand-pressed paper had the most glorious calligraphy that my master had ever done. It was majestic and glowed with the silky paper it was married to.
It said and I must paraphrase now, as I am weeping:
Miguel-San, you must understand why I only kept the teak chest and burned the rest. There are things in there they you must deliver to my Queen of Amber. Her name came from the amber cat eyes she had. Her daughter and I never knew if he was the father of my love, the Jade Sky. And she was that. Her eyes flecked with emeralds and her smile and head floated in the cumulus collection in the sky, chained like great Polar Bears to the heavens. She was a Geisha as her mother, and she was hired by me on a full time basis, as was the Queen of Amber.
The only difference was the Jade one and I fell madly in love and the Queen of Amber could separate her job from her life. And that broke my friend and brothers heart. He could not bend her to his heart. She had a secret that kept her at a distance. And my friend, my surrogate father, my mentor shriveled up inside. He died before my eyes. I watched him shrink and drink the Chinese Cognac until sleeping in his chair, never in the bed.
The note told me to open the chest of teak with the key around his neck. The emerald key. I opened it and out spilled undergarments and kimonos fairly stuffed in the cedar lining. There were kimonos of clouds that floated to the floor and koi that swam in the fabric. There were cranes flying through the turquoise sky. And then the undergarments that were almost too private to look at. There were years of purchases in the trunk.
I found so many chemise and French undergarments. And pieces of fabric that floated and swam to my hands and I felt as if I was interfering in a private world. I read on through the river of burning rubies in my eyes. I have never felt so empty. I read the next sentence and it told me to not feel intrusive but to explore the gifts that he bought the Queen of Amber. He went on to say that they were bought with the greatest devotional love in his heart for her. He was a man of unlimited means. Daily he would ferret off to the black market, and buy her a gift, everyday after his tea and Cognac. Everyday and he would then come to his suite and practice and write Kabuki and practice calligraphy and dress and act through his life as if the Queen was his.
He acted his life out and never just was, as I had always done. I was an actor to everyone, no one knew me, except the Jade one. She knew me more than I knew myself. She knew my molecular structure and my past and future. For this I lived in joy. For this I lived.
My friend, my mentor told me to give the chest and its contents to the Jade one, perhaps who was his daughter. He said that these garments of heaven were bought with love and needed to be given with love. I wept so profusely my body shook as an earthquake. I kissed his un-kissed lips and replaced the linen cloud over his face and had the chest moved to my room.
Every day, I give my Jade princess one more piece and I worried over which piece and everyday she looked so shy and never asked where I got the money or where they came from nor did she invade the trunk. And I, after picking the garment to give her had salt in my eye for the love she gives me. The love my brother, my mentor never received. Some are lucky in love and some never allow themselves the discover of another, the deepness of two hearts as one and the divine laughter of true love
Written by Miguel Forbus and copyrighted by the same
A SHORT STORY OF MY BEST FRIEND AND MENTOR WHO LOVED A LOVELY ORIENTAL WOMAN OF THE NIGHT AND I WORSHIPED HER DAUGHTER. HE WAS A FATHER FIGURE TO ME, AN ORPHAN. SHE LOVED HIM FOR THE GAIN AND MY JADE GIRL LOVED ME FROM THE HEART. HE DIED SLOWLY OF LOSING THE WILL TO LIVE AND I THRIVED FROM THE LOVE OF THE JADE ONE. BUT A CHEST OF SECRETS WAS TO BRING ME TO TEARS OF PIGEON BLOOD RUBIES.