it often feels like i'm driving a train on two tracks. one where everything is going better than imaginable, and the other where there's this constant agitation, restlessness, unease. and sometimes the train stays on the one track and sometimes on the other, but mostly it's on both.
which feels weird.
which is, i guess, the whole state of modern life and how we're all supposed to be because modern life is hard.
which seems like a cop-out.
the month of february has been cray. like every tree i planted in the last year or two or four suddenly bore fruit. one every day. for weeks.
except you can't live like that. in that state of stuff happening. inevitably, it ends. and i go back to the library and squint at my story and do the heavy lifting again. this is, in part, why the moments that i can identify as A Moment (by which i think a mean a moment that will, ultimately, be an integral plot point in the way i tell this story later on) are so precious. why i feel the need to grab a pen and put them down.
because they do not last.
because they cannot last.
because one cannot be on fire for all of the time.
it's a weird week, as all of the weeks that hold the birth and death days of the people who've died are apparently going to be from here on out. presumably different with each passing year, with each passing person, but an ache that persists nonetheless.
none the less.
joe died a year ago this friday.
in a few days it will have been four years since partner's transplant.
this is the year that donovan did not turn 33.
i've been reading siddhartha mukherjee's biography of cancer, which has been harder than i thought for reasons all too easy to forget.
the little girl next door died when i was five.
we played together.
her hair fell out.
i conflate this with the challenger explosion.
conflate it with standing on the landing between the stairs leading to the den and the stairs leading down to the kitchen, the landing where the window seat had a lid that i absolutely must not lift because it was made to break little fingers, listening to the adults gasp on the other side of the door they had closed behind them.
this conflation makes a degree of sense. both situations required a protection, a prevention of an experience i was not yet old enough to understand. an experience i, consequently, now feel robbed of and a bereavement, i fear, i may spend the whole rest of my life trying to understand.
because, for years, i made sense of it by assuming the little girl next door who died was killed in the holocaust. i made sense of it by letting myself think that the holocaust had happened next door.