My brother used to travel light (maybe it runs in the family). He would say “I´ll be back in two weeks”, grab his small backpack and then return two months later. I remember my parents complaining about it, getting madder and madder as days went by and they didn´t hear from him. I remember them saying “this is the last time we´ll allow this behaviour”. I remember them saying “we´ll cut his allowance”. I remember my brother phoning, saying he had no money to come back, my parents telling him off and finally agreeing on sending him money.
He then would come back as if nothing had happened, wide smile on his face, full of anecdotes and pictures and presents. My parents would lecture him for a while and he would promise not to do it again. Till the next trip of course. Then the story would start all over again.
One of the things he always mentioned was that when he didn´t know where to sleep because night found him in the middle of nowhere, he went to the local cemetery. That it was the safest and quietest place in every town. It sounds creepy but it makes sense. The dead won´t harm you and nobody visits a cemetery at night. Well, nobody except my brother.
He also said that it was very sad for him to see those abandoned tombstones that nobody had visited for years. That he couldn´t help thinking that those that were under had been forgotten by their beloveds. He said he didn´t want to be forgotten.
Somehow, his words were stored in my brain and every time I see an abandoned tombstone they come back to me as if they were being said at that moment. And I start making up stories about the person that lies underground. But for some reason they don´t cause me sadness, just curiosity as regards who that person was. Maybe it´s because I do believe that you don´t need any material object to remember those you love.
From time to time I visit the cemetery and I come back with my mind full of stories. I cannot help it, I´m a story teller at heart.
I like to think that by making up stories, even if they are far from the truth, it´s a way to remember those who were forgotten, to bring them back to life. Besides, I really don´t believe that they were forgotten, maybe there are no relatives left, maybe they are too far away. Life is full of mysteries. And dead too.