November 24, 2011
The house is almost empty, just me and sporadic sessions of forced air that sound like a series of drives through long mountain tunnels, all night. There are parcels of darkness, between the brake lights in the window and the screen lights in the room, each making neat packages. When I last saw vacancies in light like these, the gaps between the spines of my books were screaming out, the stucco walls straining from the drone pressure of a swelling ghost. The corners of the room were shining like the first letter of an illuminated page. When I last saw these things, I had been lifted by something new. The floor, an impatient tai chi partner of mine, drove its power into the capacitor below my navel. We saw the ghost in my house, the floor and I, and we would have removed it at that time, by every jamb and stud and joist. But the Voice.
The Voice says No. We rent, you dumbass.
The Voice is in New York to cook for a people she was raised to know and love. They harbor their own ghosts, but in a manner she was raised to appreciate. She nonetheless means to push them out for the day with a burgeon of food, her tidal joy, and a surge of select Hungarian curses. Feed the soul, fade the memory, shame the devil.
My children are with their mother, who will take them to her parents, who live on a cliff over the ocean. I think some day I should be dissolved in that water, save a few grains embedded, if only for a breath, in the lifelines of their hands.
And my own mother has written in the late morning, will you join us tomorrow? be as quiet as you want. I would like to write something about what it means for each of us to be known and felt, thrown together and remembered well, each in our own way and by our own shadows. Instead, I am writing this, and will have in tow this morning a handsome, capable dessert.