October 28, 2010
A child’s doll has died. At his request, I ask his mother for permission to conduct a funeral service in a language no one understands. This she grants. The doll is in a shoe box, beneath a fastened lid. Sunlight finds us in the street outside. A lone trumpet: inside the box, the doll begins to sing.
December 21, 2010
My grandfather, alive again and in need of a shave. I could smell him when we hugged — that sweaty, vineyard scent of his. But his hug lacked his usual affection. Somehow, without a word, he let me know that I should have been to see him sooner. Practical, as always. And I, feeling guilty and not wanting to break his heart, unable to explain the difficulty of his request. My father, now, to the left, a step or two behind him, half grief, half shadow, looking at his hands. Was he wondering how long he’d been away? Did he know it’s more than fifteen years? Time is nothing when there’s light in someone’s eyes. Even when he’s dead, and gone, and here.
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