I can't theorize on what it is I'm doing, I posted to the on-line journal editor.
And then I wonder about that for days. Why recipes and neighbor-talk in this space, so contrary, so abstract, so NOT about grieving, or burying, or flesh and blood, a heart that stopped beating. What "use" is philosophy or science to Maxine when her father died, when she left the room. She, trapped in that invisible, powerful space of regret and grief, turning to me in her flesh-and-blood not-artifical intelligence, in the fragility of her bathrobe and cigarette to tell me the particulars of that moment, that precise moment. When she left the room. When her father drew his last breath. When she left the room.
Reaching across the invisible space, the negative space, to hug me, the white terry of the bathrobe against my skin, the smell of cigarette hovering and mixed with baby powder, me the distance, neighbor, the not family, who can hear, to whom she can speak, the particulars of that moment, that precise moment. When she left the room. When her father drew his last breath. When she left the room. The fragility of this distance, the sharing across a backyard fence and a gaze that sometimes inadvertently crosses it.
Reality is bleeding and I wake at 2 a.m. to write this out on lined paper with a ballpoint pen, longing for the safety of my neighborhood, the concrete space where I live outside of this academic construct of theory, theorizing, the mathematical constructions of invisible shapes, the framing, and framing, and framing. I want to say: my neighborhood where I know what to do, who I am, what to be. But of course that's not true. I had to ask Mrs. Farley how to do it. She computed a metaphorical algorithm (or will we discover a mathematical computation for this as well?) of potato salad, relish trays, and large church-basement coffee pots. I run my hands over their invisibility, my childhood hands that know the shape of these words: potato salad, relish trays, church coffee pots.