The Sickness of Time: Spectral Possessions of Love and Dying via Mother Homer is Dead… With Splintering

1. Intro

In the autumn of 2011 I saw a young man die. He was attempting to cross the street, without a light. And when a driver wasn’t looking a truck bowled into his body. 

The man flipped over the hood, sparked as a cork from a pop-gun. There was a shriek and squelch of tires, but he himself was without sound, folding over and open as wet laundry flapping on a line. His head had turned ‘round, a beer cap unscrewed; the judder of his limbs and torso fizzed, his whole contorting sinew in spasms as he was blown up, out, and into the street. He clapped down shivering. Someone cried, “OH!”

A water bottle in his backpack had burst, and the road ran red. A flume of blood crawled towards me; with the nimbleness of fungi it slid over the black pavement. Things went quickly then. Everything was done. Nothing could be done. With haste he went, deperated, was gone—of course he did. He’s dead. His name was José, and that’s all I know. His friend knelt down on the sidewalk, bent and sobbing. The driver who had killed him, prayed, was led away in handcuffs in shock. A stun of the senses, I remember it vividly. José’s wide distanced eyes, facing the wrong way, his lips swelled and split and how he shook shook shook as he docked, as though hundreds of grasshoppers had lived in his flesh, and now they were beating against the walls, desperate to get out to fly. 

I know what I witnessed that day was an anomaly. The vast majority of us won’t die this way, in the road, with our face backwards away from the sun. No, the bulk of us will die in the bed, likely sometime in the berry-rich night, or in the early, pale green morning, we’ll drip out.  

Between 2004 and 2009 I was dying. My body had become sick with trauma, the oblong estuary of nerves in my skull lit up like a fluorescent tube. White matter and dopamine seized the front of my head, pulled me upward, my feet dangling; a small insect made a nest in my brainstem, stopped me from sleeping; my hands curled against my pallid coat. Nightmares roared when I fell unconscious, nightmares thundered when I laid awake. Anhedonia cut off my limbs, diagnoses orbited around me, medical tests were poured over my skin, pills slid down my throat. I was no doubt dying. Everything slowed. I lost vision, I lost hair, I lost sinew, I lost touch and time. In her condition, most do not live or live well beyond 30. I planned for the end, my future shuttered. 

Life is paced when you are in your teens and plotting your course for the end. You are given only a small boat, and the ocean; if you want to get around, you have to paddle with your feet. I do not talk of those times—but I write them. I only write them because such existence holds no sound, no sight, no speech. There is just the memory of movement, minuscule, minute, implosive movement, that only the quick motions of fingers can reveal. A palpitation of the chambers, a slip in the veins, a tilt of the toe, twitches of tears, pricks in cheeks. You attempt, you often fail. You are held but the world is not held, it keeps on like wind… What to say? How can one break a vaporous thing across a person’s face and have it reach them? Instruct, take a deep breath? 

Best leave the hole alone, and if one can, direct all who come to you away from it. No good comes of its darkness. At the bottom rests a bed, which you will lie in, come certain summers and certain days, you have built a reliquary down there with a refrigerator full of wine coolers and a bath with snow blue towels soft cold as weak rain.

I am thirty four now, nearing thirty five. I have beaten the odds. My life is about how I wanted it to be when I was ten years old, daydreaming of a small log cabin, mountains, being absconded. A room, a desk, paper and pen and a keyboard, books on the shelf, unmarried, no children, a small but secure and eclectic collection of dear friends. So perhaps I know and understand a lot more about dying than most people my age, or maybe the events have only confused me. Death, an information paradox. 

2. Reentry

Enter Hélène Cixous, and her damn near Wagernarian opera, Mother Homer is Dead…

Do I understand a thing about dying? Now I don’t know, as I run my fingers over the binding of this slim volume. Here, I scoff at myself. What the hell do I know. Hélène Cixous and her grief is like being waterboarded; the drowning of the reader in pain, then a quick breath, then pain, then doubt, then fear, total fear, a quick breath, a quick cut breath. There is confusion, What am I doing here? Hélène Cixous cuts herself, bleeds, pushes the wound to my lips, Drink my friend. And I remember, I dance inside the late evocations, everything that arduously drains out. It is a reunion, a chance meeting again with my old demigod bed and the sickness of time. 

But here I am witnessing the event on a different end; here I am beside the bed, rather than in it. Hélène is watching, waiting, straining for her mother to die. At her 103rd year of life, you’d think it’d get easier to let it let. It doesn’t. I stand over Hélène’s shoulder, as she whistles her cries through her weeping. She charts the final course of events in a white journal that depicts the Greek Titan Atlas holding up the world. As I am there bearing, reading, witnessing, I am constantly left wondering which one of them is supposed to be Atlas; whether it is Hélène, attempting to carry her mother and her last days, or whether it is Mother Homer, burdened with the weight of history, of living, of the catalogue of ships, of war, of being, of the need to get home, burdened with her daughter’s deep, deep grieving, of aloneness. They seem to switch places; the entirety of death’s weight creaking on them, splitting their knelt and shaking shin bones.

It is unveiled that love is a desperate, clawing thing, that no torrents of seas nor rages of tectonic plates nor furies of wildfires nor burning frosts can compare when placed aside love’s frenetic, strangling, writheridden needful being. Coming to it it dawns; and that is the word—need. Love is a paradox in that it needs not a thing to thrive, yet its essence and absolution is that of pure tyrannical need. Hélène needs her mother to live, Hélène needs her mother to die. Her love’s needs are so great she fractures, proceeding backwards and onwards through the deafening time. The clock binds her to a singularity, and as a fetus in a cell, cramped and powerless she is kept, kept out by time, until at some unknown hour in an unknown future by an unknown force death will, however it comes, make the decision and push and stretch her through. The contradiction will at last dissolve, her post at the fort of stasis relieved. The experience is disorienting. Putting the book down, a well of tears in my clavicle, cut streams on my breasts and cheeks, the ceiling appears to spin as a blinking of coming back to life. I’m left very awake and stimulated, like I’ve taken MDMA accidentally. I went wandering into a pulsing disco club but only one woman was there, wailing. We should not accept drinks from strangers. Yet we do. 

So the visions bombard me. Every single death and dying I have been and will be forced to endure. Pets and people and trees and shops and my own being. Death blitzes as plasma, and if it doesn’t, it ekes. There is no between.

3. Waves

It is August of 2005 and my grandmother is dying. Her soul is dropping out rhythmically to the drip of an IV. In the hospice ward, lying in bed, her thinning hair mopped to the side of her face, she let’s loose her coughs—throaty and gurgly—and out spurts a snail of mucus, which my grandfather tenderly wipes away. I sit by her bedside; sometimes she’s awake and acknowledges, sometimes asleep, but always there is the distinct fog of untenable distance, undisturbed but unrelenting quaking. Holding her hand, brushing her hair, hearing her speak—her skin soft and poreless (It’s her anemia the doctor tells. Aren’t her legs still so smooth and pretty? my mother remarks) her breath ragged and raspy, she is irrevocably in descent. A little of her departs each half-hour—her feet, her tummy, her neck, her hands. I wonder what will be the last; the last piece of her to leave that will close the door behind. 

I ask her things I shouldn’t ask her; she in kind lies to me. I think this is fair, for she is burdened. But I’m also dying, fading, and I want to know what waits for me. 

In the orb of hollowness that is her room, she is a drone. I step out into the hall and the old and dying are lined up as Enesco figurines on bedroom mantels, posed and white and precious looking. l observe all the uniform landscape paintings. Cottages with fields of flowers, vases with flowers, vales of flowers, forests of flowers, gardens of flowers, tumbling flowers, laying flowers, upright flowers, flowers being forced down the throats of the ill; their eyes bulging, unable to breathe, flowers smothering them, desperately, crushing them into powder, flowers animated behaving as possessed brooms sweeping them out the door; all these fucking flowers, flowers looming over grandmother, flowers cramming up the funeral homes, flowers dotting graves, flowers, flowers, fucking flowers, I think to myself would it not be more honest to put Goya on the walls, the lonely horror of his Black Paintings, John Martin and The Great Day of His Wrath with the enormity beheld by flailing bodies, Frida Kahlo’s flying bed, her unborn baby outside her, a floating balloon of grief.

Hélène Cixous in April 2013. Her mother pries her in the morning ‘Help me’ and in evening begs ‘Toolate.’ Her mother here, there, somewhere, dripping, dipping, clinging, Hélène agonizes, collapses, sleeps. I pry the memory, I beg it leave. I let loose the book next to the papasan and just cry cry cry.

Me. Journal entry, 05/15/2021. I pen, “Ally has Primary Biliary Cholangitis. She is in late stage, stage 4. […] Her body will eat itself from the inside out. Her systems will unspool like unraveling yarn. It will be slow, and arduous. She will be lowered into death gradually, tick marks on a rope, clicks from a crane. I can, and cannot comprehend; my mind is in a hospital room where she lays, and a light switch, being flicked on and off in believing and disbelieving. We were supposed to die as old women, her on her eighth husband, me a spinster. My eyes well with tears. She will not see her children grow old, she will have limited summers; how much she will suffer—she does not deserve this end.’

“An end where she is young, but in bed, withering like paper in fire. How did this happen? Has life killed her? My friendship, my love, it is not enough—Was not enough.”      

It is the first week of December 2010, I learn that Ryan is dead. Ryan who would sit across the cafeteria table from me while I ate breakfast and asked me inappropriate questions; Ryan who talked of chess and loved to try and impress me; Ryan with the gregarious arm movements of a maestro who always sat with his legs spread; Ryan who said, ‘You’re kinda strange,’; Ryan who wanted to take me on a date; Ryan who wanted me to be his girlfriend; Ryan with the wide and rounded shoulders and a deeper voice who was sometimes crude but always kind. 

Ryan’s dead. He went into the army. He doesn’t want to go back. He has a gun. He’s hiding in the living room. The police are there. Everyone’s telling Ryan to put down the gun. He can’t. He won’t go back. Ryan’s head opens up and his fears spall and coagulate over the carpet. My friend calls me. Ryan’s dead. I close my eyes and picture his cracked, cherub lips and see-sawing eyebrows. I feel a numbness as I think of his thick fingered hands and the day he grew brave, reaching over the table to wipe a crumb of poppyseed muffin from off the corner of my mouth. He was quick about it, like he didn’t want to get caught. 

Hélène Cixous recalls a dollop of cream on her mother’s nose. In the café, the day bright and zinging. It’s not okay I say beneath the covers, trying to emulate a prison cell or coffin or womb. My friend’s husband Nick, best friend of Ryan, tells my friend Jess in a car ride home, “I just wish he hadn’t done it in the living room. Couldn’t he have taken that shit outside?” Jess tells me his tone is cold; he doesn’t cry.

It is October 2014 and I am in bed with a man. I take off my shirt, he puts his hands on my breasts, and clasps my hips. We say we aren’t going to have sex; we fuck, but he doesn’t enter me; he thinks this isn’t sex; it’s sex; I am beaten in and rolled flat; mise en abyme, a smaller version of myself is yanked out; I clutch the pillow; I yelp. In his bedroom is a sliding glass door that leads to a small balcony with iron railings. The curtain is not drawn but it is dark. There’s the light of the city outside, and the heavy rain is illumined and bounding. His chest is like a pelt of fur, by the morning his jawline will be covered, the new hairs stiff as trees. On top the covers with all of us unhidden, without his glasses and me without my senses, we tell each other things. He had a fiancée who died in a car crash over in Europe; he shows me a photograph of her name written in beach sand, when he went to France to say goodbye, again. He keeps saying goodbye, but it’s like she doesn’t leave. He’s never seen a ghost or a paranormal apparition but he swears she’s haunting him. His bed is high off the ground, within its richness I sink in. I cannot sleep in feather rich beds, I always wake up with a backache. I’ve gotten too used to sleeping on floors, dilapidated sofas, in the wet grass after a night of sleepwalking.

I tell him I know dead people. Perhaps better than I know the living. I tell him the story of my friend Dana back in high school. She pedaled her bike up to Wisconsin Point where there is a lighthouse. It’s dormant. It’s beautiful. The cold lake licks the rocks like clappers in bells and when the winds roar the harsh clay grains spew up smokey glass pebbles and empty abandoned beer bottles smash apart. I’ve cut my feet on them. It hurts. Nobody really knows what Dana was doing there that day. Her bike was found; a few days later the brutal lake spit up her corpse. I tell this man I think she killed herself. Suicide? Yeah. But I don’t know. Maybe Dana slipped, maybe Dana just fell. How old were you? I say seventeen. So young he sighs. He is the oldest man I have ever been with, being forty. At twenty seven I don’t yet understand what he means by this, what’s the weight inside his sigh. 

He wants me to spend the night. I tell him I won’t be able to sleep. I spend the night for him anyway, and I lay awake. I’m always sacrificing my rest. In my mind, the wheel, Dana killed herself; Dana fell; Dana killed herself; Dana fell. Dana at the Halloween dance in her purple butterfly wings. Dana and our holding hands as we sprang across the floor. Dana and I at the theater in the evening, staying late after school; I take her up to the light booth, I make the colors jig upon the skirt, I take her up to the catwalk, I show her all the gels. She’s afraid. She grips the railing, she says she feels like she’s falling forward.

Dana’s father is a bastard. Dana’s father bellows at the other end of the phone. The connection’s cut—did she hang up? Dana fell; Dana killed herself. When my mother tells me Dana’s dead, I think who? I don’t know her. Not that Dana. 

I finally fall asleep. What time is it? Six in the morning? This man I laid next to all night shakes me awake. He has to go to work, I can’t stay here. I rise but am not present, I have no strength to argue or complain. He makes me breakfast, and it makes me feel sick, but I eat it. He grabs my butt in the kitchen, kisses my neck, leads me out the door. In the car I’m not present. I’m at the lake. Dana’s pale and broken body is being hauled up via a net, her dark wavy tresses limp and coursing in the foaming waves.   

Hélène Cixous describes a certain night with her bedridden mother as making love. Hélène is not just losing her mother, but a lover, a friend, a muse, a load-bearing. This is day one. I tip the book pages to my forehead, push it in, exchange a kiss. There has got to be something to come of this. 

4. Preinterlude

It’s November 2021, I like a man, which is just a school-child way of saying I’ve grown to care for him. I want to be his friend, but I also want him to stick his tongue in my mouth. I ask him out. It is a mistake. I suddenly start to realize I am afraid. I have a wild nightmare of being in a speeding car at night. I am in the backseat, naked, a man is on top of me; he is trying to cut my head off with his fingernails. I can feel the tendons ripping. The blood spurts and dribbles. His sawing motion is fast and quick like a machine. There’s a skylight. The stars above skate, a darting stream, as though I am underwater, watching droplets rivering. I know we’re going to crash, and we’ll both die, but I’d rather we both die in the crash than me first by beheading. In the dream I know that should my head be disconnected from my body I will maintain consciousness for up to seven seconds. I fight him, I fight the decapitation, I can not bear the thought of watching myself fall away. His hair sweeps across my face. He’s just a silhouette. I wake. I’m weeping. I’m in a pool of sweat. 

I call it off. My friend asks me why I decided enough after one date. I look away, “Because I actually like him, and I can’t bear to let someone down again.” 

The man I care for understands, but he doesn’t understand a thing. The former is because he’s mature and kind, the latter is because I omit. We still talk—I don’t think it’s the same. The cat’s out of the bag that there’s something about him that hits me between the legs. Another living, growing green I’ve pulled out at the root. I think he’ll run away. Do that modern thing we call ‘ghosting’, so on point to the torrent scape of this incorporeal life. I don’t even know if he ever really liked me that way, or if he’s just another man who needs attention. He tells me his thoughts, his dreams, things he has done or is doing or wants to do, but he never tells me what he thinks of me or how he feels.  

He tells me about a story he wants to write, that’s been in his head and never comes out, like an agoraphobic vision. A man who may or may not be the Anti-Christ loves a woman, but she dies, so he destroys the world and leaves it all behind, taking off into outer-space in a rocketship. As he tells me this I see colors surging, a concave window, a plume of fire falling into a prick of black.  

He sleeps, I lay awake. He has to go to work, I can’t stay here. I have dreams of him but in life it’s an asymptote. We come closer and closer but we never meet.

5. Interlude  

Me, Journal entry, 05/02/2015. I pen, “Why do things fall from me? Why as I walk does it feel as though the earth is attempting to swallow me? So much of my life simply sails, evaporates […] The lilac tree that I loved in youth is chopped; the orphanage where I strung myself is torn to bits; the jobs I have worked, vanish into the changing world; people I knew and loved, die, as quiet as mice in traps they are cut down from guns, high falls, pills, their own despair. Is there nothing of this pain that will remain redeemed? All the past vibrates, and kills me with a kindness, that later would be crush under a heavy stone. All those I loved, I also failed. Who will it be that I will fail next? I cannot protect anyone. Try as I may to do good, to be good, to love and give strength; it means nothing. And that is what I a

and then my pen runs out of ink. I write nothing else until next week. 

6. Acceleration 

It’s June, 2021. My dear friend Ally is on the phone in fits. She’s weeping uncontrollably. She can’t take it. Her body is a piece of garlic rotting and collapsing at the core; her body is a browning lawn infested with choiring crickets; her body is an enemy, a rapist with a knife; she has jaundice, she is yellow corn and her hair is a receding slimy pond in drought. 

There are monsters inside that pond that once were kept hidden; she is horrified at the thought of seeing their molten shapes rise out. 

She’s crawling. She’s racing. On the other end of the phone she’s wailing, “I don’t wanna diiiiieeee! I don’t wanna diiieee!” She wants to kill herself. But she’s a coward, she says, she won’t do it. “Please help meeee!” she screamcries, “Please help meeee!” I tell her I will be there in the spring. I lost my job and I’ve got to save up the money. I can’t get to her. I tell her to breathe, I tell her please keep breathing. Where is she? She’s in her car, driving, driving much too fast. I tell her to pull over. “It’s the only thing that calms me down!” She sobs she fears she’s going to lose the kids. Her ex-husband is suing her and drained their joint account and took the SUV. Her new boyfriend and her haven’t had sex yet; she fears now that because she’s sick she isn’t beautiful anymore and he no longer wants her. Slow down, I say. Slow down. It’s a plea. She pleads back. God doesn’t hear her. I’m the only one who can hear her, I’m the only one who hears her cries spiraling down the freeway at night, the resonance of sorrowful terror shattering the crystal chamber that over this past year has grown in the void between my left breast and lung. The shards poke out my skin. I’m a thistle, I’m a thistle now. The prickles shed off me like snow off a winter boot. I’m full of holes. I’m stinging. I’ll sting.

Hélène Cixous puts in the book one page of just the line ‘helpmee’ five times across, thirty times down. She writes, “It is necessary. Otherwise no one will be able to imagine the music of this glacial time.”   

It is December 2004. I have not left my bed for months. My parents enter vacantly, to make sure I am still alive. My mother comes in, with a glass of warm milk; she has me drink it just so I can take my pills. She exits. I hear nothing but distant cars, voices, lives outside. Hours go by, without a single face. The phantasmagoria of the shadows create waltzing shapes. I feel nothing and everything. I lift my frail hand and write. I write of ships, I write of people kissing, I write of legs bounding, I write of pines fissling and oceans slamming and mountains that clip skies. It’s the middle of the night. Am I sleeping? I’m suddenly in my closet and at the bottom is a well and inside that penny smelling darkness I hear wolves howling. I’m going to jump in, I tell myself, I’m going to jump in and let the wolves devour me. I jump. My heads clonks a shelf; I’m tumbling; my clothes and hangers lump and clatter about me and I am on the ground. I start weeping. Why must I move when I sleep? And when awake be laid down? 

Hélène Cixous tells of her mother in her splendour, of her mother in her misery. She writes “I’m afraid / That one will make me unfaithful to the other.” Day two of straight reading. I break down again, third time, but we’re almost there. We’re almost at the gate. We’ve been trudging uphill nonstop for two days. Mother Homer’s almost dead, oh my god, Mother Homer’s almost dead… 

7. Proceleration 

Here it is, the splintering: 

My dog is having a seizure on the ground. 

I’m on a tilt-table and two nurses are trying to decipher what makes me pass out. 

In the inpatient unit, a girl is having a fit, screaming for her daddy. I can’t sleep there. I’m ridgid as a pencil beneath the sheets. A man who’s supposed to reside three doors down from me keeps lingering in the hall and he masturbates over my horizontal form until the orderly comes and tells him to cut it out. 

Wires flume out my skull. I’m in an old La-Z-boy chair and the man behind the glass says into the speaker, Just try to relax.

My knees are banged up. My arms are sliced up. I’m a somnambulist. 

Someone dead again, someone dead.

A relationship comes apart again. Josh looks me in the face and shouts, “Are you trying to drive me insane, or do you just have a knack for it?!” 

I try to hold you but you’re always flailing. 

Her breasts white as a fish belly. 

Her lust comes out her nose.

Cluster disorder. Atypical schizophrenia. Night terrors. Nightmare syndrome. C-PTSD. Dead ends shrug maybe. No one knows what’s wrong with me.  

It’s on top of me, it’s on top of me, oh god ohg god oh god ggod i can’t breathe helpme helpme.

I don’t know what day it is. I don’t know what year. A migraine snaps me, an assassination, takes me out like a splinter cell. I turn out all the lights. I crawl into the shower with all my clothes on, lay in a fetal position on the plastic floor. I have one about every two years, but it always feels like more. I’ve met women who say they have migraines. I have one right now my girlfriend glibly relays as she’s driving down the road. She flicks on her turning signal, the car spins in a horseshoe. I guess I’m not strong like them. I can’t stand up. I can’t think. I can’t breathe. All I feel is pounding pounding pounding.  

I guess I’m crying, because my friend my family slid the bathroom door. The razor of light cuts and flays, the wash of cool air is pneumonia. I’m fine! I’m fine! I’m fine! I say, which roughly translates to Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me! He doesn’t listen. He disobeys. He says he’s coming in. He pulls the curtain. I hide my face. He somehow manages to climb into the small shower and pulls me close into a hug. We’re now equally soaked and stringy. You’ve pent it up, you’ve pent it up again, he says. I’m okay! I’m okay! I’m okay! I say, which roughly translates to I hope I’m dying! I hope I’m dying! I hope I’m dying! I hope this ends!

I don’t know what day, but I know the year. The human being who I had planned to love forever goes out each night to be with a girl with dried-blood red hair. It is a slap, then a twist, then that piercing that has no word. My stomach clenches out the teardrops, pear-shaped islands dot my thighs. It’s an accident I found out. Was I naive? Now it strangles me, those wending eels slip everywhere. I am in my fourth dying year. Of course he would duck the lowing branches of my sickening time. 

They call it ‘cheating’—but I’m unconvinced—in the terminology of this sinking moment. Avoiding an undesirable outcome? That’s for sure, but as I clutch his shirt and roll over the carpet, my silent, silent tears I’ve learn to cry so ears residing mere feet from me cannot make out the despairing sound, I know that it’s ‘dying’ that is here; the point of departure, he’s about to disappear, he’s about to be laid aground. He’s dying on me, I say, he’s dying on me. I pull up the scent of decay, with my hair in threads, and my teeth busting out. Anguish beating on the walls, corybantic revisions surge, lash, abound. We are both about to vanish. We are both about to stop our function, and slide sideways and it’s gone.

I am atrophied and nearly mad but I go out into the ante meridiem dark. It is summer. At night the street is like a long black car without mirrors and moonlight scathes the sight—but I start running. The air is crisp and zings like a lemon slice. I’m in my pajamas and my legs are shaking and they are white as ice. I just start running, running running, running with my life. 

My heart is thrashing, my lungs batter up and down. My arms are swinging, my legs begin winging; I am running, running now, I think I shall keep running. Keep running until a pebble breaks me and the venomous stings wound and rake me and come abrupt in spires to impale me up the crotch and out my crown. Run until I collapse and clatter. Run until I hit an end and spatter. Just keep running running running down this street and heaving until I arrive to see my skeleton try to leap from me. 

Split this body, leave the meat, clack itself up the avenue over the viaduct jump a train take the tracks and flee. My bones are trying to wrench from me; I’ll leave the muscles in the road, let them be eaten up by dogs and crows, and my liver be damned, my throat be puked, my eyes gumballs to be splatted and be chewed. I’ll take my femurs, I’ll take my spine, I’ll take my skull, I’ll take my metacarpals and little stapes and just keep running running running until I make out like a devil, sliver inside this spinning parade that is an anomalous thing we have opted to call being alive and people who travel this blank avenue by night will sometimes see a sprinting ghoulish outline—was that a ghost?—and my bones and I will no longer be part of the world. 

I’m running, running running running. The pages burn, they are like brands. I’m gripping twelve years of running in my hands. Twelve years of dyings? And many more, and many more. Snot spurts and sweat beads and ankles are unconsciously held taught by great rubberbands of dolor.

8. Epilogue          

It’s happened. Day two in the middle of the night. Mother Homer is dead. 

All my grief that was left to feed has been fed. I’m full. I can barely even consider the dead ones I haven’t commiserated, the lopped off verisimilitudes, the encroaching 800,000 Americans disposed of by a creature no bigger than 0.0000008 of an inch. I am exhausted.  

I still don’t know a thing about love and dying, I’m convinced. I sense they may be the same. The window’s open and a man is yelling outside. I pass out. The book falls away. I jerk awake and it’s on its face.

Hélène Cixous, writes, “Last pages of our life, notes the notebook. I want to keep it set it down without losing it.” 

Me, latest Journal entry, in a postscript I darted out:

“Maybe I’ll get drunk this week, maybe I’ll pass out upon the floor, maybe I’ll spin in the blink of eternity, split through zero, meet myself, say to that dumb woman’

“Get up off your knees. Get on your hands. Whatever it is, write it.” 



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