undiluted: not reduced in strength or concentration or quality or purity
Days before a man I loved passed from this life he blessed me with a label that spoke straight to my soul. Weighing his words with his graveled accent he said definitively, “You’re undiluted.” It was a curious statement. For a moment I considered the possible translations the word had undergone from his native Italian to the Queen’s English. The word itself stubbornly refused to be transmuted into any other adjective.
And so I sat there allowing it to set up camp inside my head. I pondered which element he must believe I represented in such rarefied concentration. I reveled in his unqualified flattery. For his part he spoke no more on it, allowing me my moment as he often did. Moments such as this one would prove precious, for they would be all we would ever have between us. We would have a life time from October through to November and no more. This man, my anachronistic Knight Templar, would slip from me silently the following Thursday. He would die alone in a crowd of strangers. The flesh would indeed fail and the frenetic beatings of his heart would undo us both in dramatic fashion. I was not there, though I can imagine.
I would like to tell you that I felt him go, that some intangible part of him was able to form our goodbyes. I did not. What I felt was his struggle, his fight to stay. I closed my eyes and felt his arms around me Thursday evening and they have never let go. I am left with the burden of unpacking our experience, examining the contents left behind and finding their proper place in my life. I sit here and breathe the life that never quite was so I can exhale and live again.