I spent the weekend in Lexington, Virginia, visiting a law school. I had a nice time, but I won’t be going there. Too small, too insular. Too many white people. Too many girls with pearls. I don’t know. I have become more citified than I imagined. The place was so similar to Charlottesville – the same aesthetics, the same rhythms, the same climate – I felt myself shrinking back in time, I found myself back in my 22-year old head. I can’t go back there – it would not be a forward motion.
I was disappointed to not see my friends who live in Charlottesville – that would have been very nice. Instead, quality time in the hotel room. Actually, I was very disappointed.
At the law school I ran into one of my friends from high school (and college, incidentally) who I haven’t seen in about two years. It was great to see her and I was thankful for the company. I was sitting in a mind-numbing orientation session and I thought of my friend who recently passed away. I think my high school friend had known her, and I debated telling her about it all. I considered this knowledge as a weapon, a knife I could use to press against her flesh and draw some blood. But I didn’t tell her.
Another of my friends is having some rough times with illness in the family, and I received a message from him two days ago that he was in Los Angeles en route to someplace beyond this country. I am worried about him.
I want to write something funny, but I can’t quite find it. I will hopefully be participating in a reading/open mic event in a week’s time, and I need some material. I have been trying to convert some of this sadness and worry into humor on the website (you may have noticed it, it’s been a bit forced) but the translation of pain into comedy is not as easy as I would hope. I try to think of the lessons I am learning right now: valuing life and friendships? Staying in touch with the ones you love? Not letting rust gather on the relationships that have sustained you? And there is no way to present these in an ironic and entertaining way.
Tonight I was trying to provide a listening and supportive ear to my friend who is especially hurting from this death (sorry to be cryptic) and I didn’t know what to say. I found myself babbling these inanities and considering even stupider things that I didn’t say: “Do you want me to make you a mixtape of pop songs about death? Do you want to to write a letter and tie it to a rock and hurl it into the Hudson? Do you want me to make a collage of women you and I both find attractive, just in the hopes of brightening your day for one fucking second?”
I was looking in my books for some poetry or wisdom or spiritual water to help cope with death but I couldn’t find anything. But I did find this from W.S. Merwin on loss – it is short and poignant and nearly perfect, I think:
Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
Goodnight, moon. That’s enough for today. Oh, and the best news of all: I’ve developed a twitch in my right eye! Awesome.