José and Forgiveness

José, the Spaniard was visiting me

for work. But we were friends as well.

“I’ve divorced my wife,” he says.

I stop the car.

I look at him with a stern look.

Couldn’t you work it out and maybe

forgive her?

We get out, enter the restaurant and order

steaks and red wine.

We talk about work, the ceramic factories

that are closing down,

the problems with unemployment in Spain,

his two boys

but not the wife.

At the end of the night, when I’m

driving him back to his hotel,

“I caught her two years ago and only last

week the divorce papers came in,” he says.

He looks at me looking

forlorn and says

“Forgiveness has two parts;

one is for me to let go of my pain

and bitterness.

I’ve done that.

The other is for her to do the work

and show me how to trust her again

She didn’t do that.”

He slams the door of my car before

I can say anything.



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