memories

trajectory

There is silence, scented with bergamot, and a cup of tea that more than one friend has told me whose leaves smell "more like a big sweaty guy named Earl than some proper English tea called Earl Grey."

In the past month, the angle of the sun has changed enough that the guest bedroom now sees bright slats of midafternoon light. For the sixth autumn straight, the cats have made it a point to sunbathe and drowse amidst the motes. They doze in tangles of brotherly paws and tails, kitty-snoring into each others' ears amidst the fresh-folded laundry.

On this yesterday...

Last night, in the bathroom, having traipsed there with drinks firmly in hand, Eleanor and I were noting that we'd somehow, through the vagaries of time and distance, become wedding-and-funeral friends. I haven't seen her since my father's funeral, and she hadn't seen Dan and Stephanie since Jeff's and my wedding seven years ago.Some things about us have changed.

Some most emphatically have not.

Crazy, the lot of youCrazy, the lot of you

Here's us, being dorks in formalwear, seven years ago when Jeff and I married. Yep, that's me in the wedding gown, all long hair and glasses. If you look to your left, you can see two people hiding under the skirt of my dress. The one in white is Kara, and the one in green is Stephanie. On the right-hand side of the photo, back in the back, Dan is in a green shirt and doing his best to be seen over jowilson.

Or, if you want a more standard photo, there we all are again at the wedding rehearsal. Dan and Stephanie are front and center.

To the Sagster, from the Pink Punk

"In the months since Dad died, I've found myself wishing that my friends, here in this sparkly new life, had some kind of honest understanding of all the years that came before I moved here. I didn't come to Huntsville to try to fit in, and I cheerfully plan to never do so. I came here with plans to make a small piece of this town my own; to find people I could relate to; to start over if I had to; to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life."

Regency, Centennial, Harris, Ops, amen

At this point, it's just plain silliness: the cutting of a spare house key or the run to Kinko's for sixteen color copies. Or, as said to Suzan the other night: "We do all this planning ahead of time so that when we finally get on-site, we can walk away from our lives for nearly a week."

Seek and ye shall find

Death does not take reservations; it comes and goes of its own free will, leaving the living to tend to the resulting disruption.

I am still tending.

So it's been one year. I can look at my watch and remember where I was. A year ago by the tickings of this watch, I was at Colter's. I showered. I had been instructed to get some rest. While I slept on Colter's bed, Jeff worked on Colter's computer.

The future hung over us, shadowy and low. We knew my father's death was imminent; the oxygen saturation of his blood had begun to drop the day before. Previously, his mask had provided him with eighty percent oxygen. We knew that moving him to 100% oxygen would not save him - nothing would - but if it kept him comfortable, that is what we would do.

But - no. That is not the way to remember.

a more precarious flower

Words don't like forcing. When pushed, they fight back with kick and claw and bite, resulting in nothing but torn-up papers and cramped hands. Finished sentences rarely result, and the ones that survive their troubled gestation usually prove to be truly ghastly infants.

The past week has been tough. The next few will be tougher. I am approaching the one-year anniversary of Dad's death with something deeper than apprehension but differently-flavored than dread: knowledge conveys its literal meaning, but precariousness conveys its resonance.

It's extraordinarily rare that I talk to anyone about what happened last year. Even now, a year later, I don't have the mental distance or emotional stability to do it, so I leave the words hanging, swinging, between my lips and another's ears.

The mirror tells me I am not fundamentally different.

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