The chocolate store is a metaphor for life. I have been wandering around the streets of this city remembering Maya everywhere. The little cafes we visited, a park we hung out in, the helado store, the mall, all these places carry a charge now, a bit of sadness, a bit of loss as they were once something that they are no longer now. Each place brings a memory forth. I remember, last year, we let Maya walk on her own in this foreign city, “just on this block, no side streets” we told her. How exciting for her to be on her own, and for me to watch her go, to see her be free for a bit. I was so happy that day to send her off, and delighted when she came back with nothing exciting to report. I do recall she was moved by the indigenous women on the street with their infants, selling beadwork and bracelets. She felt that suffering as if it were her own. I tried to explain, but there really was no explanation that could satisfy her.
Yesterday I went to the chocolate store. I remember sitting there with Maya one night last year, we had chocolate cake and hot cocoa. It was so busy and bustling, yet we enjoyed just sitting in our own quiet little bubble and watching together. I went there knowing it would make me sad. But I had to go, to see it, to remember.
It was gone. In it’s place was a Western Union. All that was left was the memory of the moments with Maya. I had not bargained on the store not being there, and it hit me hard. And yet in a moment of sadness, the clarity of the knowledge that all things pass, it came to me.