I sat on my desk with Grief and asked what it wanted from me. Why it even visited me at a time when I was supposed to finally be free. I said I thought I’d be excluded from its list of patrons. I never signed up for its services, yet there it was. But it just sat there, looking at me as if I was supposed to come up with the answer on my own. It said it wasn’t there for anything other than to sit with me.
“Who sent you?” I said.
It said it had no control over where it went and when. It was as confused as I was. Yet it knew it was in the right place at the right time.
“What purpose do you serve?” I said. “Whom do you serve?”
It didn’t know.
“Don’t you have more important homes to visit?” I said.
Again, it was silent.
“When you’re here, all the colors turn grey, and it rains. You are not a pleasant companion.”
But it took no offense and said nothing.
“You have to go,” I said.
It almost obeyed.
But as it stood up, I felt a rush of anger overcome me.
“Is this what you came here to give me?” I said. “And you’re just going to leave me with this?”
Finally, it talked.
“I come and go only as you please. If you send me away, I have no control over who replaces me. It might be Joy. It might be Peace. Or it might be utter silence. But it could also be that which is here right now. Or fear. Or others with whom you are more familiar.”
“But when they come, do you leave?” I asked it.
“Only if you dismiss me. Am I dismissed?”
“Where do you go?”
“Elsewhere,” it said. “But you must know I am, in essence, all of them.”
“You are dismissed.”
It walked out the door, and I sat, waiting for what comes next.
“Do you ever go away?” I said to no one.
And a coldness hung in the air waiting. Waiting for me to reach for warmth before it descends.