To Chicago to Say Goodbye

To get anywhere, sit down and remember.

We tell Avery Jim is dead. Not only him; Gary too. Whenever anyone dies, Walter dies again. In the otherworld, people come back, can be brought back. We meet Esther in a new way. Like Avery’s pencil drawings, where lines accidentally touch, and then pencil tips break. Yesterday, Avery ate pencil shavings and I pulled them out of his mouth only to recall when he ate dandelions, spit them out. Yellow tuffs like falling teeth. The tooth of the lion, the appetite to see everything new, to take everything in at once. 

We do not make our loss new. It’s new, too new, made new each time we think about it. We take it all in, which means we surrender. We move to the part of the map with dragons.

When Avery wakes in the night, he thinks we’re gone forever. It’s a cry so fierce and mighty that it’s a keening. We cut his nails back, stop him from scratching himself. It’s this way with our own losses too: Jim, Chicago, the younger and more reckless versions of ourselves.

There was a time in pines where we emptied sentences and drank too much. In the flatlands, we rode our bikes and played pool or darts. We did very young things that we recount with wonder and a tinge of fear. How did we make it through? A lot of that is over; Avery moved from the cradle to the crib, he seems ready for another time. Enough to think here, to be fatigued from so many endings.

I tell Jesse that wean comes from the Greek to ripen: the ending and the beginning are always closely matched. Always the same.

David tells me about a movie where we people look at another world and seek it out, seek to fall toward it. I tell him this is the same as Sophia, Inanna, Buddha, Lucifer. The story is lonely and we keep retelling it. The map is harder now that Jim isn’t on it; we renavigate straight through time, passing time. 

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