empty attic

It took a long time and a lot of work, and now the attic is clean. It wasn’t as hard as making one last amazing album while you’re dying of cancer, but it wasn’t easy. It doesn’t look like much, but I cried when I saw it.

Cleaning that space has been at the top of my bucket list for years. I had not wanted to leave the mess for someone else to deal with. “Now I can die,” I thought.

Parts of me already did.

My new neighbor’s elderly father is in the hospital. “The thing about dying,” she says, “is that it doesn’t happen all at once.” Yes. Shingles didn’t even come close to finishing the job, but it did knock me down pretty hard. And I’m not bouncing back as fast as I would have when I was younger.

I’m intensely aware that I am made of both Meat and Magic. We all are.

There was something almost comforting for me about David Bowie dying. We’re all going to do it someday, and we’re in good company. Everyone we’ve ever loved or admired or respected is going to do it too, if they haven’t already.

Yeah, I know. I’m a weirdo.

 

haunted

I have an older brother. He was born dead, seven years before me. I don’t know what his name was, if he even had one. I don’t dare ask.

From Jennie Vansaco’s excellent “What’s in a Necronym?“:

Fifteen years later, the clinicians Robert Krell and Leslie Rabkin identified three types of replacement children: bound, resurrected, and haunted… A “haunted” child lives in a family overwhelmed by guilt, which imposes “a conspiracy of silence.”

Yes. Even though none of us would describe me as a replacement for him.

How can someone without a name, with such tiny feet, leave such a large footprint?

He probably never even wore shoes.

He is still here, screaming in the corner of the room, using all the air in all the breaths he never took.