emma b. says

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Time: rememberence

My mom called to say that he had been in accident, the internet told me he died. I sat at my desk and had a detached conversation with my good friend who had lost her brother-in-law to suicide about death, I said no expects the Spanish Inquisition, and she said and then they show up. So I went about shuffling things as my mind stilled, and Archie, my puppy, tossed and tossed his froggy in the air. The day waned as Autumn does, from that bright/cool sunlight arcing through the last of the racy purple-y red leaves, to fat, fat indolent raindrops falling out of the sky with startling velocity.

I called my brother, driving home after work with his wife and two babies in tow, I reported tonelessly, I used the word "passed" when I should have used "died", I fell into soothing, consequenceless purring, I hated that I said it, yet I did.

My good friend asked about him, I said, he was a big part of my life, once, when we were kids. She asked me if I had slept with him, and I did, more than once, I don't have any particular memory, just that it was, that there were boyfriends and girlfriends and there was a good four years where we were all entangled like the knots in his girlfriend's spiral perm, I am pretty sure that was in 1989.  And all of that got colored by something that happened much later, and for the sake of rememberence I will set it aside, except that I didn't.

My brother said, he was an important friend, and I was struck and saddened, because he was, vital to our youth, to my brother for different reasons, but that doesn't even matter anymore, not when twenty or so years have gone by and the baby fat has melted from your face and you have your heart done in, but good, I should know, I did it to him.

So then remembering. When he tried to fix your '71 super beetle and then your dad made you take it to the mechanic to undo his fixing.

When a bunch of us kids were building snowmen.

When we went to see that reggae show and he held your hair back when you smoked too much weed.

His nimble body leaping from boulder to boulder at the Yuba.

Spending the night in a windstorm. * This is particularly vivid.

My father's various nicknames for him (included feckless), the time he took out our shrubbery, the last fucking horrible accident that he got into with my first love's little brother -  Jesus Christ, wasn't that fucking close enough? How did it not penetrate? How do you slam into the front of minivan farrying a bunch of trick or treaters, jesus, you are 41 years old, and a better artist than most, there is so much life, yet, there is so much life, yet.
I can see your face plainly, now. And it's shiftings from adolescence to manhood. I can see your hair go from spiky to long and back again. I can see your face before you tatooed your new religion on your chin, I can see you scooping up homeless people to shelter in my apartment in San Francisco, and I can see me coming home at 3AM and coming unglued. I can see your uncorruptable guilelessness, and I can also see poor old Trog crapping all over my apartment. I can see that you loved me and you couldn't see that I didn't love you back, and I am sorry for that. I am sorry that I didn't respond to your outreach, you never understood cocoons, or boundaries. I see you again, gone too young, I see you again, but you are gone.

ainsi soit-il


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