Friday, June 22, 2007

more about dead people

I wrote this in my Deadjournal a few days ago, locked it, and felt it would go nicely here too, because I don't want to lock all the stuff I want to say about dead people. ho di hum.

-have been talking to my aunt (she's not really my aunt) about my mother. She says she feels guilty about drifting out of touch with us in the few years immediately after my mother died. I didn't know til now that Kathie had cancer at that point; she says it was but a scratch (?, if she says so) and shouldn't've been a reason not to call. I told her it didn't matter, because it doesn't; we're all still alive and more or less dealing with shit, and I don't believe she has anything to reproach herself for. But. Life could have been a lot different.

I love knowing Kathie. She's a different corner of the world, a reminder that I won't always mean what I mean now. Like all people three times my age, she knows a lot, and she shares it softly and wisely. (She talks like she writes.) She's my
only connection to my mother, and reveals as many mysteries as truths - neither of us even know why she died, how it started, if it's hereditary, anything. She blames the Pill, in its high-dose 1970s incarnation; I'm pretty sure that's not possible, but it's still weird that neither of us have any real clue. I'd ask my father but I don't want him to know that I want to know. I may ask my brother to snoop for me - I know where her death certificate is.

-writing things like this does give me a distinct tremor. I do
not think of it often; usually my brain kinda skips over the whole thing, pretends that I'm like everyone else (unlike these poor kids, who I always felt pretty sorry for in that respect), but lately it's been on my mind a lot - even before I started seeing Kath again. Part of me thinks it's a stupid defensive thing - hey, here's something that's not my fault, let's pretend this is why I can't do anything, mm - but mostly I think it's just one of those things. It is death; never far away, always worth a moment of your time, always bleak and impossible, able to raise a shiver of hurt.

I think I haunt Kath a little; she says I look like my mother - and beyond that, she's kept in touch with us for a reason, waited for us to be adults, then spoken, shared. I remember the letter she wrote to us just after my mother died; it was a (retrospectively, predictable) attempt to grasp meaning in our disaster, but she said then that she intended to stay close to us (you may add the words 'meant' and 'wanted' as you choose), and one way or another, it's happened. (In my case, I went several years without seeing her then dropped by her flat unannounced one Friday afternoon and wound up staying almost all night.) Mostly it's because she's a damn fantastic person, and knew exactly how to bribe us as children and seemingly still does. But I imagine we're all still in touch because she needs us as much as we (I) need her. There's something about the way she looks at me sometimes;
[here followed an aside about some of the imaginary friends I write stories about]. Damnit, I think I'm dreaming far from home but I'm not, I'm just not looking at it straight.

Throat getting distinctly tight and cloudy now. I'm not in an emotional place right now, I'm just adrift on thoughts and these occasional intruding physical sensations (teeth tickling, ribs the wrong shape); this is physical, a literal heartbreak. It doesn't hurt, not in the sense of doing harm to anyone - it's just there, telling me it's there, that I've lost someone, that I'm still here.

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