You are my Sunshine

It‘s a beautiful spring morning, and I’m in the gloom of the bedroom getting dressed. The rest of the house is flooded with light; the large windows give uninterrupted views of Rugby Road and the Botanic Gardens; fresh budding trees, sparks of yellow Witch Hazel. In the bedroom though, I always keep the curtains closed. Unless it’s a really black winter’s day, enough light seeps in around them for me to be able to see what I’m doing. Today it’s sunny outside, and there’s a beam of sunlight coming through the chink between the curtains; it severs the dimness just in front of me. As I pull a scarf from the drawer, dust particles fly up, illuminated in the radiance. They swirl: red, green, blue, and white; a serene miniature cosmos. It’s entrancing. I give the silk another shake, and more of the tiny fibres rise, hang, and slowly drift in the still air.

I am taken aback when the calm pattern changes, as if stirred up by little invisible fingers.

I didn’t do this. There are no air currents, no flying insects. It’s not natural. My heart beats faster, adrenaline pumps. Then it happens again; and again. It’s surely not possible. Children’s fingers playfully circling, making impish eddies, sweeping. Could it be?

Every day since I fled Chile after Pinochet’s bloody military coup in 1973, I’ve thought of the girls I left behind; my neighbour’s daughters. I remember them running through my house, filling the air with their infectious laughter, squealing when I tickled them. They were family to me.

Yes. It’s the only explanation – it has to be. At last my prayers have been answered and my lost ones have found me. I have missed them so, so much. I overflow with joy at the thought of their return; picture them giggling: gappy smiles, bright innocent eyes. Playing along with them, I touch nothing tangible, there is no sound. We chase each other’s traces in the sunlit motes. Then, all too soon, a cloud passes outside and they are gone. Tears bloom in my eyes, unwanted like nightshade. Sobbing, I curse the capricious Belfast weather de las putas then cry out to the mute air, imploring:

Come back, little ones. Please, stay with me. Tell me I’m forgiven? Your parents – they were Trade Unionists. It wasn’t my fault… everyone was denouncing communists. I didn’t know the secret police would take you as well. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.

In limbo, I wait for the sun to return.

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6 Responses to You are my Sunshine

  1. Cormac says:

    very good Jason thanks

  2. Cathal says:

    Jakers, Jason!

    The few remaining hairs on the neck of me back are standing to attention to the tune of the Chilean National Anthem in jig time.

    And me about to head across Rugby Road to pick up the wife from work. Methinks I’ll be taking a less than slight detour today, especially if the sun’s shining! 😉

    Beautiful stuff! Maith thú.

  3. Mike says:

    Once again your extraordinary treatment of fine detail breathes life into your work Jason – a pleasure to read.

    • jasonoruairc says:

      Cheers Mike. I thought I’d try to write an unconventional ghost story, so no thunder & lightning, spooky noises, haunted houses, ectoplasm etc… Thanks for your continued support of my writing, I appreciate it immensely.

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