Monday, April 18, 2005

one year

I sort of thought I would have something more profound to say about yesterday. As some friends have noted, some of my strongest writing seems to come from experiences of loss, and the first anniversary of my father's death ranks right up there.

But I haven't had time to think about it, or much of anything, the past few days; I'm having enough stress trying to hold everything together and get the things done I need to before I leave. I will say that today was, emotionally, a very long day. I did both the morning and afternoon sessions at a figure-drawing marathon, chewed out two friends via cell phone while waiting for a bus, fell asleep on the train, saw an intense play about Israel, and sat with Snufkina in a coffeeshop comparing damaged fingernails.

She says she loves me because I'm not only geeky enough to agree that we should take off our bandages to show each other the swollen/blue/bloody/peeling/dented patients beneath, but because I happen to be carrying fresh bandages to cover them back up.

I also saw E, for the first time in about a year and a half, and while it was hard, it wasn't as hard as it's been in the past. I found myself wondering if he'd been that skinny when I loved him, and I couldn't remember.

I suppose that's good.

I guess the point, if I have one (doubtful) is something about memory...I still miss my father a lot. And I still forget that he's gone. Things still happen where my first response is I gotta call Dad and tell him. And at the same time, I still remember how it felt to systematically decimate the gift baskets we'd been sent because cooking was too complicated, because even pouring a bowl of cereal seemed like a Herculean effort, and all the time thinking, I'd sooner have my dad than this damn gift basket.

Sometimes I am still right up against it. And sometimes not. And there's no way of knowing what it's going to be on any given day. I thought there'd be some predictable rhythm, some cycle, some line moving smoothly up or down a graph. I suppose that's how many of us think about loss, and dealing with loss: this will go away, bit by bit. The anniversaries will hurt, and the holidays, but not other days.

But maybe it's not like that. We make it through Valentine's Day, say, or a birthday, or what would have been the tenth wedding anniversary, without incident. I'm getting better, we think. And then some seemingly unrelated thing happens, and we're a wreck.