love & death
T went to bed a little while ago; he has to be up at 5:30. I stayed up to read a bit.
The child downstairs is screaming again. I don’t know what prompts these outbursts but they are blood-curdling in pitch and intensity.
The dining table is an absolute shipwreck of mail, receipts, books and half-finished projects.
In the shower today, the sinking, leaden reminder: I am going to die and nothing I do can change this inevitable fact.
I don’t know how to accept this, only how to deny it.
When I came home from work, I looked at T with wonder and gratitude.
If I never publish a second book—will I be forgotten?
Sometimes days go by without my thinking of R. I tell myself it’s because I’m here, now, I’m living. But I’m here because he opened the way for me to be here. And he deserves to be remembered.
R was so certain of what came next and claimed to have no fear of death.
Who will help me over?
I’m writing in my car, in the parking lot of the store, with just a few minutes before I have to go in and start my closing shift (1-9). It’s unseasonably, and unreasonably, warm today, which must be why I almost dated this page April instead of February. Yesterday I noticed that the small rose bushes along the sidewalk entrance to our apartment building are beginning to leaf out, and I can’t recall that ever happening this early. But perhaps it does, and I haven’t noticed. Someone once told me it was the lengthening light that brings forth new growth; that it has nothing to do with temperature. Seemed (seems) wrong to me, though if I were a better gardener I’d have looked up the answer by now.
3 pm (lunch)
Our assistant manager was unexpectedly fired this week, so the extra pressure is palpable and leaves me pretty much wiped out by the end of my day, despite my attempts to remain mindful and calm. It’s very easy to allow others’ energies to affect (infect?) my own, and I’ve been trying hard to see each interaction as an opportunity to learn more about how my own mind and energy can be influenced, or maintained, or disrupted. There’s very little in the way of meaningful conversation among my work colleagues—sometimes it’s what I miss most from my teaching days—and so I try to find ways to make this retail experience more meaningful. I don’t know.
I’m currently halfway through Plainsong, a novel by Kent Haruf. I’d never heard of his work before reading something about this novel on Goodreads. It’s about the quietest novel I think I’ve ever read, and yet every sentence feels exactly right.