“Hey, Jill,” he says, “I know what your favorite thing in the world is.”

“What is it?”

“Me,” he says with all the certainty of certainty.

“You are so right,” I say.

I don’t understand why we would push away from one another. Why we would kick out to the edge of the bed rather than roll to the center. Why we would pass a smiling stranger and not smile back. Is there so much affection in the world that we can afford to neglect it?

You, sir, you with your hard time, are on your own. Good luck with everything. Let us know when it’s easy to be around you again and we’ll all go for a drink. I have made the repeated mistake of watching the video for Amanda Palmer’s Bed Song.

I waited here, nursing my solitude, and no one came. Where was everybody?

My grandmother was buried yesterday. Or maybe not. I don’t know if there was a casket. My cousin wrote me that an old neighbor showed up in a full-length white mink coat and a bright red cowboy hat. I can picture that well enough.

It’s too soon to tell what I feel. And I won’t analyze it anyway. My feelings are just feelings and they’re free to walk in and out of the room.

Maybe my child has so much certainty because he is a child. And maybe because he is my child. We could argue that it’s still easy when they’re young. But that is madness. We have the option all through our lives to roll to the center or roll to the edge. To live in proximity to affection or to wrap around it like paper. Gifted.

Whatever I honor in you, I must also honor in myself. You, so worthy of love. Of encouragement. Of arms roped around you and kisses. We can tether or drift. Tether or drift. Sometimes we do both together. My feelings are just feelings and they’re free to walk in and out of the room.

I wish peace for the dead. And the living.


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