Beth is writing something she calls Not Dead Yet. It’s a website. Each day she deletes what she wrote the previous day and replaces it with something new. The website is whatever she writes today.
Today Beth wrote about wearing socks on her hands, which is something she does to help herself sleep.
Another thing she does when she can’t sleep is think of a mermaid. The mermaid swims down through levels of caverns. When this doesn’t work, she thinks of an old Indian yogi humming on a hill beneath a starry sky. When this doesn’t work, she puts socks on her hands.
It strikes that when Beth dies someone will have to create a new website for her. Much like Not Dead Yet, the new site will consist of a single page. The page will have today’s date, only there won’t be any words on it; just the same blank page day after day after day. The site will be called Dead Now.
This reminds me of a clock Andrew made. He took an analog wall clock and removed the hour and minute hands. All that’s left is the second hand, which goes round and round. The clock is on the wall in Andrew’s apartment. Because it looks like a regular clock, I inevitably glance up to see the time, and there’s that second hand again, spinning in circles. Each time this happens – each time, seemingly, for the first time – I laugh. It’s a laugh of recognition. Andrew’s clock is only one I know that always shows the correct time.
Nothing is uglier than they did it to me. Because when you say they did it to me, you give your life to them, ruined. You say, I’m damaged and you’re the reason I’m damaged. Your damage is your proof.
According to K’s friend, a Broadway composer, every musical includes a song called Me and What I Tried to Do. When K told me this, I said, “That’s not just true of shows but people.”
This reminds me that someone once said that all songs are love songs. I couldn’t remember if that someone was me, so I looked it up online. It wasn’t me.
One day, when I lose what little memory I have, I will believe I made up everything, only I won’t be able to remember any of it.
That may sound like a punishment meted out by a Greek god, something like what they did to Sisyphus or Prometheus, but I actually think I’ll enjoy it.
Been there, done that, whatever it was.
A conversation between my friend David and his then three-year-old son Jacob, subsequent to their visit to the aquarium:
– Dada, are you going to die?
– Why are you asking that, Jacob? Did you hear someone talking about dying?
– Well, Dr. Martin Luther King died out.
– Yes, that’s true.
– Are you going to die?
– Well, everyone dies eventually, Jacob. But you don’t have to worry about that. That’s far far in the future.
– Far far in the future.
– I don’t want you to leave me.
– I’m not going to leave you, Jacob. I’m going to be right here with you.
– Well, yeah, always.
– (Really getting upset now) I don’t want you to die, because mama goes to work and then I’ll be all alone.
– Oh, you won’t be alone, Jacob. I’m right here with you.
– If you die, will I get another dada who talks just like you, and does things just like you?
– Jacob, you don’t have to worry about that. How about this. I promise not to die until I’m 100.
– When will you be 100?
– You just don’t have to worry, Jacob. I’ll be with you the whole time you’re a kid, and when you are an adult, too. Grandpa Joel was my dada the whole time when I was a kid, and he’s still my dada now that I’m an adult.
– Is Grandpa Joel going to die?
– Everyone dies, Jacob, but he’s not going to die for a long time.
– If he dies, I want a new Grandpa Joel.
– Sweetheart, don’t worry about it.
– Am I going to die?
– Jacob, people die when they are really really really old.
– I don’t want to die, because then I’ll have to go to a big field, and you’ll have to come back and get me and be my dada again.
– Oh, sweetheart, you’re not going to die.
– How can we not die?
– We just have to love life and stay healthy.
– If we stay healthy we’re not going to die?
– We haven’t eaten an apple in a long time.
– Would you like me to go downstairs and get an apple? We can eat an apple now.
– No, let’s eat it after school tomorrow.
– That’s a real good idea.
– I don’t want anyone to die out. I just want Dr. Martin Luther King to die out and no one else.
– That sounds good, honey.
– Let’s watch the video now.
– And I want a snack.
– What do you want? Booty?
– Booty, bread sticks, and prentzels. And crackers. Just one kind of cracker.
– Okay, honey.