Go Away First Quarter Moon
February 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
It feels like Saturday was yesterday (where did the last five days go?). I finally opened the junk mail that had accumulated since early December. Found coupons that expired before you died, check stubs dated the day you died. Chores that seemed impossible the first week eventually got done, and now need to be repeated already. I keep having to trim my fingernails. The loaf of bread I bought while you were alive, ate part of after you died, expired finally. I’m dreading the time when not even the canned goods in the pantry overlap with your existence.
“Oh, but he does exist,” some might say. And I will respond, “Show me.”
Last night, when I looked up, the moon’s changing appearance caught me off guard. I stopped walking and touched the side of my face you knew so well. No amount of bargaining, no lovely reenactment, no recitation (neither whispered by sorcerers nor deliberated by scientists) can push that orbit in the other direction.
You would have wonderful advice about this (my being stubbornly rooted in wanting nothing but the full and total resurrection of your body and mind). I don’t know what your recommendation would be, but it would make practical sense. It would require some effort. It would result in the best possible outcome.
And you would be kind if I was slow to act, if I told you I still have memories I need to write. You were there; you saw the torn cellophane next to the knife smudged with brie (the brie everyone else was eating). You were especially considerate that afternoon, sensitive to the fact that I knew no one but you. Your proficiency at acting with empathy was always unparalleled. Ignoring the others, you asked again if I kept a journal, and I told you I did — to record the details, the texture, that would make a story feel real. “Like these crumbs here,” I said.
Cracker crumbs on laminate are easy, smiles are much more difficult to capture.
It will take work to describe the smile you gave me later that evening. Which one? The one as we walked towards your room, when I saw the full moon and remembered to tell you about how I had put on my coat around 3 a.m. that morning and sat alone looking up at the sky. That smile.
It will go undescribed for now. The most skilled wordsmith alive could not rebuild you, and even if she could, she didn’t see what I saw. So for now, absent your guidance over how to cope with your death, I’m going to follow the advice you gave when you did have a voice. “I can do this,” I told you. Do you remember?
The moon will have to forgive me for not looking up.