Dearest Rachel –
There are some days in which I have to confess I’m not all that motivated to write you these letters. Sometimes it’s that I’m distracted by other things that require me to respond to them, so I spend my writing energy on something – or someone – else, thus causing what I should have told you about to get lost to memory. Sometimes it’s just a case of nothing particularly going on, although that could still allow me to do some kind of philosophical rambling on one topic or another. Other times it’s more a case of whatever’s going on is pretty much the same as what’s gone on – and been reported about to you – on previous days. Sometimes it’s a matter of motivation, where I’d just as soon simply watch another video or read another article rather than compose something that – let’s face it – I know you’ll never read.
Now, while I never read much of his stuff – you were so much more into it than I ever was, and even then, more once it had been made into movies or television that in their original book form – I have to admit that Stephen King’s advice about writing seems sound. The very first thing on his list of tips is to have a daily, non-negotiable habit of writing a certain amount of words every day. His benchmark is at least 2,000, rain or shine, birthday or Christmas, in sickness and health… makes it sound like he’s married to the craft. I’m afraid that I can barely carry on a relationship with the craft, and write half that. Worse yet, writing “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” x number of times probably doesn’t count toward the total, and like I said, some days just feel like that, where it’s all nothing more than repetition.
And so here I am, sitting in front of the office computer (and will probably come back to this later on, dictating to Siri as something comes to me), trying to say something to you that would be in some way meaningful.
It’s not easy, especially for someone like me who’s only picked up the habit since losing you – and who kind of hopes that, once things go back to a different sort of normal and happiness abounds once again, I might yet be allowed to set it aside someday. Not out of any desire to set you aside, understand – that will never happen; you were too much a part of my life, and we shared too much of what is precious to me – but more out of a desire to move on and get back to experiencing life (and understanding that doing so takes time that currently I’m using to write to you). “No happy man writes his memoirs,” the saying goes, and I really long for happier days.
But what’s to be done in the meantime? All I can do is to go about my day, dealing with the routine issues – finances, shopping, other such errands – and wander about life in public in my own little hamster ball of silence. Don’t interact with anyone, because you can’t anymore. There’s no one at my side to snark back and forth with, and doing so on my own would make me look like a candidate for a padded cell. It’s not healthy to be talking to thin air.
And there are some days when that’s exactly what this exercise feels like; talking to the air. Is there a point to all this, when I know full well that you won’t see any of this, and those that will, I can’t interact with?
The silence is deafening.
Maybe I really do need that padded room. At least it would be nice and comfortable.
I’m going to have to tell you that the outside world is offering absolutely no comfort right now. But to tell you about what’s going on would a.) just be that much more discouraging and b.) would probably provoke anger, arguments and bitter division among those folks that do drop by to read these, and I don’t feel like alienating the few of them that I note drop by just yet.
One last thought, though, on that last subject: I played Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” for Daniel on our way home from the folks this past evening (as per most Thursdays, they had us over for dinner – believe it or not, Mom was testing one of the recipes that came from your mom’s collection of books, albeit it one on a magazine clipping folded inside the pages. The beef stroganoff wasn’t bad, even with peas in it), and he calls what I’m going through being “black pilled.” According to him, it’s a case of being so “red pilled” everything seems hopeless, and he points out that it’s not healthy nor true. This, I might add, about a song that was written in 1988. But those first couple versus rather resonate, don’t they?
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose: the more things change, the more it’s the same thing. There is nothing new under the sun, and all the words launched into the air will not change that fact. I wish it were otherwise, honey, but here we are. I know all things are new where you are, but that’s where you are. Would that I could say the same.
Would that I could be there with you.