Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Mind Wants to Move
What was I dreaming last night?
I woke up this morning remembering what I hadn’t remembered in a while: a phone message from a few years back, in which she was hoping I’d come and stay with her for a while. Her voice was cheerful, almost youthful, and it was clear after a minute that she thought she was talking to her twin brother, Paul, who had died in a car accident twenty years before I was born. A month later, another phone message in which she was weeping, calling to tell me that “Mother” had died. Meaning, her mother. Again, she thought she was talking to the other Paul, and some impulse in her brain made her think that the mother who had died in 1960 had died all over again. This was 2006, and I was still capable back then of being struck silent by what dementia was doing to her, though we didn't yet know enough to call it that. I remember lying down after both occasions, too stunned to feel anything like sadness, my heart pounding on and on.
I guess I’m thinking of the funeral Friday, and my fixation of the moment: why the black of my sportcoat doesn't exactly match the black of my pants. Not that I've even tried on the pants, which is provoking another worry. The next blog post: Too Fat for His Funeral Pants! (And we haven’t even talked about ties.) This morning it makes sense to me that Jewish people bury their dead right away. The mind wants to move.
Which we have been doing in our way. Last night I ended up unpacking six or seven boxes of books. I don’t think I’ve ever said much about consolidation in relation to our new house. For the first time I have a study in which I have room for all my books. So many have been packed away in storage units, basements, closets for so long that it’s a veritable wonder to see them all out. My Houston books (with their grey spray of mildew) next to dogeared books from grad school. So many layers of time, in one space. And the titles: The Interloper, Mariette in Ecstacy, This Book Will Save Your Life, Shamp of the City-Solo, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, Light in August, A Fan's Notes, Good Deeds, Don’t Cry, A Seahorse Year, Radical Love, In Awe…
UPDATE: Pants fit fine.