I will remember what it means

The day I die.

Where do you want to start? What would you like to look at first? I get up, I have sleep in my eye. I make a bad pot of coffee, the water hisses over onto the element, spits at me. I can’t get the water temperature right in the shower. Sometimes I think the faucets are switched from day to day, just to confuse me. I eat a banana, the texture struggling in my mouth. I step around dog toys, kick them into the corner of the living room, and open the window to the day. The street is its usual mix of bloated rubbish bags and scaffold frames. You could swing down them, if they didn’t always seem on the verge of collapse. The sky is blue, there is dog hair creeping across my big toe. The day is light, bright, ordinary.

I get up. I have sleep in my eye. Bad coffee, water hissing. Temperature wrong. Banana slick on my tongue, and the squeak of a rubber bone. Rubbish bags and metal and blue, blue sky. Dog hair itching my toe. The day is light, bright, extraordinary.

The morning passes. I make a cheese sandwich, leave the plate and knife in the sink next to my coffee mug. I should do more to help Carl, I think. Thinking too, I have forgotten how grateful I was. I am. I press down on another post-it note and write the word Help, before a large bang outside startles me. My ‘p’ wobbles, shoots off the yellow paper as I drop my pen. I had intended to write this: Help more around the apartment but the pen has rolled under the dining table now, and I don’t want to reach down to find it. Help will do, I think, sure I will remember what it means, as I place my last fluttering debt on Carl’s fridge door.

I do not realise, could not have realised, I have just left my first clue.

I have made a mistake, by the way. This isn’t the day I die. Not really. But it is the last light, bright morning of my life.

~  Alice, What We Have Left

NYC Morning

A quick bit of novel-ling before bed. It’s good to be back. If only in this way.

Lighthouse

I so often asked you this.

What do you remember?

Even in the earliest making – Tell me what you remember.

You answered once, and said I remember every day. You told me that you remembered every day. This sentence was the safest place you ever took me, a lighthouse gleam in the dark. The words sheltered me for years.

Long after we stopped emitting our glow.

Image by Joanne Piechota
Image by Joanne Piechota @ Little Clicks

Cleave

The first time somebody breaks your heart.

Not just the pulls and strain that muscle endures – but this. A tear. Right through.

(The first time you understand what people can really do, this history of holocausts and butchery they teach at school – you remember the foundation shake, the devastation. Nothing – or life – is ever the same.

And now it’s  you).

Balloon Girl, Red Heart by Banksy
The Girl with the Red Balloon – Banksy

In every beginning an ending is written …

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.” – TS Eliot, Four Quartets

I’m a better person for knowing you. For this invitation into your world, and the people you loved. I know why they loved you back, Ben. I know why they love you still. You were so loved. All of the mistakes, all of the regrets you might have felt that morning as you tied your shoes, as you set off for that run along the river. They don’t count for anything in the end. They are not the things you leave behind; the mistakes are not what we remember.

We remember the impact made. We remember the aching, tender, breaking impression left upon us. We remember how people change us, and how if we are lucky, that impact changed them too. This is love, Ben, at the end of the day. And love is what we remember most of all.

I have to go now. Time to meet Maggie for cake and wine. Mostly wine, I would imagine. We have a birthday to celebrate. A new beginning. An ending too, after nine months without you. I know I’m going to have to confess my part in this to her. Eventually. But that story belongs to a different ending. Or a whole other beginning. See, I keep coming back to this, Ben. The idea that beginnings and endings are one and the same. And that a connection like ours is never truly severed.

It just changes. Expands. I was not wrong when I said that surviving is one of the hardest things to endure. It means to live beyond. And to live beyond what you once had, you have to let go of the past. You can’t hold on too long, not when you have to move on. Not if you want to survive. But Ben, you take the love with you. Of this I am certain.

I have to go now. Time to meet Maggie for cake and wine. Mostly wine, I would imagine. We have a birthday to celebrate.

The End at body, remember

Eidyia’s Note: This past week I wrote the last lines of body, remember. The journey I started here on this blog 22 months ago has lead me to an 80,000 word manuscript ,and I’m now one giant leap closer to my dream of being a published author. For a writer, I’m not even sure I have the words to say how it feels … but I’m taking it in. Before the endless edits begin!!