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Just yesterday, I was struggling to come up with something to blog about. My Aunt Celia died early this morning.

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Fall, I did today
saw the Inbox, one message
from a name of a person who’s no longer a person
hasn’t been for years
because he’s gone on, on
Billy
Billy who died of an aneurism or a catastrophic stroke
I can’t remember which
brain stem is a bad place for a bleed

Fell, he did
died instantly there in my grandmother’s living room
died instantly but was still breathing
9 siblings and child-like mother as next-of-kin
and none of them wanted to be the one to authorize the unplugging of the plug
so he didn’t die when it would have been an intimate family affair
when they were ready
he died when it was convenient
for the medical staff

silly him,
he died when it was convenient for them.

I shelved my aunt the same day I was shelved by my lover. Admittedly, her dismissal was more traumatic of the two. Later, when I cried for myself, I cried for her, too. She’s not on my coffee table any more, at least, but she’s hovering. She’s not overbearing about it; my guilt is.

Meaning.

As far as my own shelving, I’m surprised that after the initial upset, I am feeling fine. Mind you, I still feel conflicted as it wasn’t an outright rejection but an honest sort of halfway rejection, which makes no sense but is true anyway. He’s not ready for the next step, you see. As consolation, he says he’s going to cook me dinner. He said I was beautiful when I told him I felt ugly. He said he was so sorry. He had the balls to stick around when I started crying. I’m not sure of the duration of my weeping spell, but I suppose it’s quality not quantity that matters.

Meaning.

I’ve been thinking of getting rid of my old books. It seems so blasphemous since I’m a writer. I feel as though I’m betraying some code that insists you have a responsibility to the book once you read its secrets. I feel as though if I can navigate the passage to letting go, I will have made some sort of real progress in my life.

Meaning I am tortured by meaning.

I didn’t put her away. I thought I would have. I thought I’d turned a corner.

For six weeks, an envelope with pictures of my dead aunt have been on my coffee table, waiting for me to do something with them. I have gotten teary-eyed just seeing the envelope. The last week has been especially difficult because I noticed that the pictures are halfway out of the envelope and the part I see is her exposed neck, her neck, the part that killed her. Or the cancer underneath. Whatever.

The pictures of her are when she was younger and healthier. Before she knew how she’d die or that the son (who was also in those pictures) would go before her.

I wrote her a letter before she died but didn’t get around to sending it. So I found it in my car, addressed and stamped, ready for her to read it. She’s not around to read it. She said she started a letter to me but couldn’t finish it because her hands were shaking so bad. I am sure the paper has been thrown away by now, but I’m haunted by what she may have said.

She told everyone I was her rock, but rocks don’t sob; they sit indifferent. And that I could never be.

The ache is always there but it gets better
It becomes bearable
It becomes livable

She meant the pain she felt for the loss of her son
Still her words come back to me
Because I remembered her today
I remembered when we breathed in the same room
Together
I remembered her pain and my own
I still feel her pain and my own

We will never again breathe in the same room
Together

I remembered her today
and I realized
again
how much I miss her

I worry when someone goes into the hospital
Kidneys shutting down
Liver shutting down
We don’t know why

may never know whywhywhywhywhy
haven’t we had enough of this already

once the dying starts, it doesn’t stop

Clogged arteries are blocked lifelines
legs becoming starved for oxygen
good news
he has periphery veins
and leg pains
bad news
if they are cut off, there will oxygen galore
in the form of gaping wounds
exposure and air restored

haven’t we had enough of this already
all the stops have been removed
let us commence with the dying

My mother gave me pictures of her
and her son
both dead

We all die sooner or later

No one comes into the world
thinking she will suffer a lingering, painful death
or that he will die of a ruptured ulcer

We all die quickly or slowly

We all die of trivial things
which is not supposed to happen
or so our rebellious minds wail

She gave me pictures
of a dead woman and her dead son
They are still in the envelope
what’s left of a dead woman and her son

Where to bury the bodies
Where to put the ashes

bored

not hurting anybody

scrolling through the numbers in my phone

 

I saw the name

had forgotten the name

already

was surprised it was there

in my phone

when she no longer is here

 on earth

 

I pressed delete before I could think

too much

time spent thinking

 

how long will it be before I recover my breath

I take a break from my guilt

A night of fun with my unrequited love

He’s unrequited but not really my love

I need him for much bigger things

Bob Seger’s voice haunts

Somewhere tonight someone’s thinking back to someone who got closer

 

I try hard to concentrate

this song is about me

this song is about my love life

this song is about my woe

 

Only I don’t believe myself

I believe in the tears I feel dripping from my chin

and the sound of my ugly cry noises

 

Someone’s not quite sad, only disbelieving

 

This is not about her

it is not about her

it’s not about her

She’s not being sung about

this song is not about her

except that it is

 

it’s a song about her absence

 

Somewhere tonight

any number of things are happening

but she isn’t

she’s not happening, she’s happened

  • If you have to use Aspercreme on sore muscles, wash and rewash your hands. Once or twice is not good enough, because should the icy-hot fire somehow get around your what-not area, it will burn for hours and you will be miserable.
  • If you haven’t already done so, just get on with it.
  • Eat chips and chocolate.
  • Drink regular Coke and Pepsi.
  • Go to your bathroom stall at work and take out the book you’ve been trying to finish for weeks and go ahead and read a couple of pages per trip. You can make special trips. This will make you especially happy with feelings that you have duped everyone.
  • Don’t hesitate to sleep. Defend your sleep privileges to the death. If you have to tell the Gays they are too stressful to be around right now, so be it. You’re their Princess; they will surely forgive you.
  • Lay out.
  • Jump in random pools. Or at least imagine jumping in pools irrationally over a period of no less than 5 hours of constant “I should jump in a pool” loops running in your head.
  • Find an Air Force John. He will not have the energy to blow you off. He will want to cuddle with you. Except that maybe he only responded because he’s intoxicated and watching “WifeSwap” when he’s a 26-year-old military man. Anyhow, he will respond if prompted and offer distraction, if not frustration and perplexation.
  • Never mind if “perplexation” is a word. It should be. Own it.
  • Even if you know you will have to write about it again sometime, keep your darkness at bay. It’s the only way to keep from crying racking sobs every day.
  • Do not think about your dead aunt.
  • Do not think about your impending summer program.
  • Do not worry about tan lines.
  • Recognize raisins are good for you.
  • Stay conscious for only mere minutes of time until drifting off into something as close to peace as you get.

SOB with me

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