July 30, 2013

WHAT I THINK ABOUT WHEN I THINK ABOUT DEATH

Someone I like very much died. He was good and the people he was closest to are suffering without him. That's love, that's death. It is late now, the sun sinking into the other coast. A bird caws in the tree outside my window. He is alone, no other birds will sing back to him until the sun comes around again. It's as if he didn't get the memo on giving it a rest for the night. 

I sat on the porch this afternoon, lost in thought while practicing my cursive. Nate appeared from inside the house to tell me about our friend's untimely fate. I asked how and as he told me, a deer emerged from the woods with two spotted fawns behind her. Two. Their kind appear and disappear so quickly, but their movements in the meantime are slow and thoughtful. I see the deer often in the places I go, but that doesn't stop me from a silent gasp, "oh," when she decides to show herself.

I float around the house, I think about death. Alone in the kitchen I watch the cat tickle her supper with her tongue. Standing with the fridge door open, I twirl a fork into the leftover thai noodles that came home with me after visiting the museums at Yale. I hear the chorus of birds before their bedtime and the faint echoes of Nate's singing from the barn. The glow from the fridge illuminates my legs while I chew, and chew, and inspect the sticky layer of food on the shelves. I think to myself, maybe if I had seen the Yale campus as a young girl I would have been motivated to do better in school. Probably not, and then I think about death. I move to another room and lower myself onto the couch that faces the television. Nothing has changed since I was a kid - television is still awful on Saturday nights, my ego still complains about it: Okay, but what about the rest of us that aren't out in the open on this imposed day of social engagements, and are instead sitting around, eating old food and thinking about the awkward permanence of death? 

SNL is on and it's like watching someone you already feel sorry for wave their dirty underwear around in public while crying. Justin Beiber is the host and I watch the performance and I think about death. First I picture his face. After that I think about the last time I saw him and whether or not he was acting weird. Then I think about how he isn't walking around anymore. Then I think about how sad his brother must be right now in this very moment and how there is no solace in his day, not even in sleep.

I find relief in being sad about something. I feel no existential pressure to figure out what's causing my despair. I don't have to force myself to pull it together. I think about death and I know what's making me feel this way. Relaxed now, there is room to feel what it means and doesn't mean to lose someone. 

SNL comes to a close and I text message my brother about how much I hate Justin Beiber, about how insincere he is. This is what siblings are for. My brother agrees with me and separately we share a moment of self satisfaction that we aren't Justin Beiber. 




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