Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thief of Joy

My grief fills rooms. It takes up space and it sucks out the air. It leaves no room for anyone else. 
Grief and I are left alone a lot. We smoke cigarettes and we cry. We stare out the window at the Chrysler Building twinkling in the distance, and we trudge through the cavernous rooms of the apartment like miners aimlessly searching for a way out. 
Grief holds my hand as I walk down the sidewalk, and grief doesn’t mind when I cry because it’s raining and I cannot find a taxi. Grief wraps itself around me in the morning when I wake from a dream of my mother, and grief holds me back when I lean too far over the edge of the roof at night, a drink in my hand. 
Grief acts like a jealous friend, reminding me that no one else will ever love me as much as it does. 
Grief whispers in my ear that no one understands me. 
Grief is possessive and doesn’t let me go anywhere without it. 
I drag my grief out to restaurants and bars, where we sit together sullenly in the corner, watching everyone carry on around us. I take grief shopping with me, and we troll up and down the aisles of the supermarket, both of us too empty to buy much. Grief takes showers with me, our tears mingling with the soapy water, and grief sleeps next to me, its warm embrace like a sedative keeping me under for long, unnecessary hours. 
Grief is a force and I am swept up in it. 

- The Rules of Inheritance, Claire Bidwell Smith

As of today, my mother has been dead for three weeks. I don't know what else to say about that right now, especially since the above pretty much encompasses it all. 
Exceptions: I don't smoke cigarettes, but I make up for that in the amount of sparkling wine I consume. And I don't have the Chrysler building to stare at, just the four walls of a downtown single home that have become something of a cocoon, a clapboard sleeping bag where the only physical reminders of her are slight. Not to worry, of course, because grief provides enough of them on its own.

More to come, I expect.

1 comment: