Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Death cycle

It’s after 1 o’clock in the morning. I should be in my warm bed, fast asleep. But sleep is something I don’t do well. I’ve got other things on my mind.

For example, I’ve got a project swirling around in my head and I’m thinking about fabric textures and colors and exactly how I’m going to construct this crazy thing. But tomorrow I’ll go to the fabric store and will begin to work it out and hope the sewing machine is strong enough. This is what I do—get crazy ideas and then obsess about getting them done. Like painting the armoire at 2 a.m. Oh, well. . . .

Then there’s the whole life and death thing that’s wrapped around my neck like a boa constrictor. I really don’t mind snakes, wish I could find that old photo of myself with a boa around my neck, but the strangulation could be a problem. I can’t work with this life and death thing like I do other projects—there’s nothing tangible I can do about it. No fabric, no paint, no planning. But still, I begin to see my brain go there, lights out, under the covers in my warm bed, and then I start getting worked up. Next thing I’m out of the bed, I fire up the computer, and I’m getting upset, figuring I can make some sense out of it, create order where there is none. Like I’m really going to find some sort of understanding of life and death. Oh, no, mon amie, that is to laugh. (I’m writing that in a French accent.)

I’m in this stinking death cycle. First my father died—it was horrible, heart-breaking. I truly loved that man and wasn’t ready to lose him. Less than a year after my father died, my brother Mark was murdered, shot in the back in his own front yard by an angry neighbor, just because my brother’s dog walked into the neighbor’s yard. I truly loved my little brother and wasn’t ready to lose him either. How could I have been? And now Mike—the one who shares my crazy adventures, my music companion, the best guitar player I know, my dear, dear friend—is dying from mesothelioma. I truly love that man and I’m not ready to lose him either.

In a little over a year—three men who have been deeply intertwined in my life—dying. Somehow the cumulative effect of these three seems more than just one plus one plus one. It seems unreal, like it's not my life. Did I step off the universe and get sucked up into a death cycle in an alternative universe, a world that looks strangely like my own, but can't be? Can I please return to the life I knew before? Can someone pull the brakes on this cycle? I’m tired and I just can’t take any more heartbreak.

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