Death narrows the field, both for the living and the deceased; it removes another friend, lover, familial figure, whatever from the living spectrum, and, inversely, turns off the light on everything the dead once were, so that they exist only in the impressions they have made on us, no matter how resplendent and deserving. That is so fucking bitter and almost impossible to come to terms with. No one gets a statue any more.
When they're old, maybe surrounded by their own mistakes, it is easier to let them leave, even if our business with them is unfinished, because they've had a chance to represent and demonstrate. We're left to sort through it and decide how hard to cry, and that's an almost logical process. It has a map, you can see the way out from where you stand.
When they are young and so full of inestimable qualities, it's like the world has marked them for destruction as some sort of crowd-control procedure; see what happens to the unicorns? We ghost them. Exhibit courage, difference, beauty, insight, any special kind of excellence and you'll be next, until it feels as though it's only the people of Walmart who remain. Alexander McQueen barely made forty and fucking Ralph Lauren is still three hundred and twenty six and breathing our air. The loss of the paragon is a vicious collective punishment, unbearable because they were never allowed the chance to find their stride; only to fuck up once, and then be zipped into a bag. The cruel and stupid grease the way; the illegality of drugs is killing the gifted even as I type the words.
A plague on both their houses.
We are a society that eats our young and I can't see that ever getting easier to deal with- on the contrary; I feel it more deeply all the time.
The ones we love are so often taken without our consent; not always- I was content to let my father go after all his suffering. But when we lose suddenly and too soon, that rage is double-edged and splits us open even as we swing the sword. Don't pretend that isn't happening to you if you're having trouble letting go. Breathe, and drop the weapon, if it takes you twenty years. Sometimes you have to be old enough to have given birth to them, and that's a hard, hard road and very lonely. Their absence locks you into a place where you feel you can't survive without their hand. Life becomes a choice between electrocution and coronary excision, every day when they are gone. Calluses and scars become your friends, and I hate those guys.
Is it wrong to want them back? Writing the book allowed me to avoid that question for such a long time, even though the theme is so overt; I don't know how that happens. So many things can stare you in the face, never speaking until spoken to, until you question them. Are forced to question them.
Hope I'm not shitting on anyone's parade today. Just thought I'd purge some tarry residues while I'm still so fucking high on life with rhinovirus.
Have a brown flower.