The best meal ever – haibun for dVerse II

If you ask me about the best meal I ever had, I’ll smile, and think of Sydney. I’ll tell you how we sat on the waterfront, by the place where the seaplanes dock, in a restaurant called the Catalina. We went for lunch, six of us, and ate and drank and laughed and talked. We were so young, life was an adventure, the sun was shining and the food was so good.

Don’t ask me what we ate. I only know it was delicious. And there was lobster. Lots of lobster. And a different wine with every course. I only know we stayed there all afternoon, and the waiters were lovely, and the sun was shining, and the food was so good. We stayed on, while everyone else left, after pudding, after coffee, watching the sea birds and the sea planes, and the sun on the water. I’m sure we drank champagne. We definitely drank champagne.

If you ask me about the best meal I ever had, I’ll smile, and think of Raj, who always knew the best restaurants, the best wines, the best cocktails. I’ll smile, even though there are tears in my eyes, because now there are only five of us, and the bravest of us is gone. The one who ordered the champagne. The one who made every meal a celebration.

Catalina calls
Sun on the water, shining,
Bubbles rise in fun

 

This is my second haibun for this prompt. It’s fortuitous – I’ve written about Raj before, our fun-loving, brave friend. It’s her birthday today, and she was there when I had the best meal ever. 

Waiting – haibun for dVerse

We are driving across Richmond Park, in a sad procession of cars. None of us want to be here, but we’ve all made our journeys, and here we are. The traffic’s stopped for a moment, and we are waiting here, right here, appreciating the pause – a space to breathe and be silent, before what will come next. It’s beautiful here. We can see why you loved it, why you came here when you wanted to breathe. It’s bleak, though. The January sky is bone white, and everywhere is grey – the trees, the ground, even the deer that gather and rest, so close to us, so tame. We are waiting to move off again, when suddenly there’s a flash of green movement – a parakeet – sudden, incongruous, wildly glamorous. It’s like a message from you, reminding us that life is fun – your favourite word – and that we should remember you with cocktails, and silk scarves, and laughter. One day we’ll manage that. I promise.

Sudden green arrow
Piercing the grey winter light
Promise of laughter.

This is for Raj, who walked away from us two weeks ago, and left the world a little duller, a little greyer, a little less glamorous. She carried her life like a bouquet of roses, and shared the scent and colour with us all. DVerse is asking for waiting haibuns. It seemed to fit.DVerse