Gaping Hole

May 4, 2009

I spent the better part of last week entertaining my cousin who was visiting from Chile. We explored various restaurants around town, gamed it up at D&B, went shopping, visited the Rice campus, saw Mates of State and Sunbears live, visited family, and mostly vegged around the house catching up on the past eight years of our lives. We had not seen each other in such a long time that I had started to forget exactly how much I’d missed him.

As expected, lots of things have changed in the span of eight years. We’re both now settled in our homes on opposite sides of the hemisphere, enjoying/working hard on our own businesses, and seeing kids grow (though on my side they are borrowed from my brother). Something else that is new is that he’s also gotten quite fluent in his English, though my Spanish is a little worse for the lack of use. But, after all this time, one thing has remained ever-so-constant: the great relationship we enjoy. We’ve been kindred spirits since we met on my trip to Chile at the age of 14. In Spanish, kindred spirits translates into twin souls, which I find strangely fitting.

Gonzalo was named for my father, and I for his mother. In that alone we seem to be bonded more closely than other kids in our family. The funny thing is that we are so alike – down to our preferences in colors, views about various topics, tastes in music, our temperaments, goals and dreams, our utter love of all things chocolate and carbohydrate. Quite often I can say exactly what he is thinking and he can tell with acute precision how I’m feeling, even when we’re miles apart. It’s almost like we were born of the same womb…a connection that I can only compare to what I’ve heard that twins share, except that there is a five year difference between us and we are essentially from two completely different worlds. About the only thing that is significantly different between us is his complete repulsion for cheese and all cheese-related products. Blasphemy, by my standards!

It was a great week. And though as we said our goodbyes at the airport (at an entirely too early-a-time for a Saturday morning) I felt perfectly okay, now I can’t help but feel the sadness creeping in. It’s tough not to sense a certain emptiness in the house. Even Matisse seems to be looking for something that is no longer there. And it’s taking everything I have to hold on to the tethered edges of a gaping hole, threatening every second to rip a little bigger of an opening.

For one glorious week, the world was slightly different with my best friend at my side. I can only hope that it won’t be another eight years until we get to see each other again.

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