The day Rasputin died was a gorgeous day:
Seventy five degrees, light breezy wind, clear skies and even clearer ocean.
The bay was swarming with tourists out to see the seals mating and snap pictures for their Instagram 'stories.' The line outside the famous 'Carly's Clams Cafe' was long and a juggler was passing by the waiting crowds.
Rasputin's mother was in that long line, waiting to order a clam soup. No one made clam soup quite like Carly.
She checked the clock - it was almost noon. She made the calculations in her head and figured she was going to have to leave with the soup in hand by twelve forty to make it back to the hospital before visiting hours were halted for lunch. The juggler came close to her spot in the line. He was doing some stellar work with two apricots and a baseball ball. He hummed as he juggled and lured the crowds to pay for this uninvited performance. Rasputin's mother shooed him to go past her. She was not going to spend a dime more than the five dollars and twenty five cents she held in her fist. Money that was to be used only for Carly's clam soup. That's what Rasputin asked for and she was going to give that to him even if she somehow had to juggle her way to the top of the line.
Of course, Rasputin didn't really ask for a clam soup from the famous 'Carly's Clam Cafe.' Nor would he be able to sip it anyways. How could he, when he was connected to tubes and infusion in his hospital bed and had been in a coma for over seven years?
The day Rasputin died was the day that his mother signed papers; his death allowance; the goodbye papers.
Those papers were waiting for years. Before her husband left her - claiming she was delusional and that their marriage was over the day Rasputin had the accident - he brought up the papers. She refused even to consider it then. 'How dare you abandon a child. OUR child?!' She said, and shamed him unapologetically.
He juggled the papers off to her sister Bettany. Bettany was the big sister and a tough cookie that didn't hear 'no' as an answer, but even she was scolded with a 'How dare you' and a frowning reminder that she 'had no child so how would she know the difficulty of this decision!?'
Bettany juggled the papers over to Rasputin's high-school girlfriend, sheila, who was already married by then. Sheila refused to meet with Rasputin's mother initially - after all, she was 'emotionally expelled from the family a year into the coma', she claimed. And when she finally built the courage to face Rasputin's mother - she couldn't mouth the word 'papers' and left crying back to her husband's arm.
What was it that day, that shifted Rasputin's mother's mind and heart, and held her hand as she signed her name on that seal of a paper?
Was it the juggler, who reminded her of Rasputin with his playful smile and reminded her of herself with his relentless pursuit despite the crowd's disinterest?
Was is the seals, who mated with passion that made her blush, and let go of each other afterwords with such ease, reminding her to let go of what she loved?
Was it the clear sky and even clearer ocean, that brought some clarity to this mother's heart?
Or was it the lady at 'Carly's Clam Cafe' that had to tell Rasputin's mother that the clam soup had left the menu years before? In fact, seven years before?
Whatever it was, Rasputin's mother did not get the clam soup she had planned for, but she did finally make the hardest decision she had ever done: saying goodbye to her only son.
Before going on her way to the hospital for what would be her last visit to her son - she hurried back to the long line, tapped on the juggler's shoulders, and gave him her five dollars and twenty five cents. 'He had earned it' she thought to herself.
He had earned it.
And so did Rasputin.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman