Then I tried to escape this fact — New York, at 3:30, on a Saturday, and only 32 years old — the finality and strangeness of it. We took the girls to a vast lawn full of misplaced ducks and I ran around barefoot, doing slightly manic figure eights, and Lucy followed suit, and this seemed like one of several ways to mock death, which is something I love about Halloween and want to do every day.
For several nights I painted the floors gray and listened to you. There are so many recordings of you talking, and I keep hearing new things, like this: how you have friends who have been tortured, and friends who have tortured (which is a paraphrase of history), and you ached for all of them, for us. Your words are prophetic. But I was happiest just then to have these archives of how you said “umm.” I like how you said “umm.” I turned off the computer when you mentioned the jar of healing dirt from Chimayo that a friend sent to me when I was sick, and that I’d sent along to you, because I had no idea what to do with that or anything, and I couldn’t bear to hear your hope.
That night I made a list of everything I remember, wanting each hour to be distinct, even as they conflate into one long walk beside the Iowa River, and one long drive through the low frosted fields of the Midwest.
I remember the first time you showed me your writing. It was 80-some pages, single-spaced in 10-point type and the subject could be summarized as Heidegger + Everything.
I remember drinking beer at an Irish pub in South Bend with some pacifists and your mother, and how happy you were that night.