It is six years since writing this. The truck has come. Joyce is at home, tumors in her liver, her lungs, colon, and lymph nodes. Today she will speak with a doctor about helping her leave before even that is out of her control.
And I am supposed to help in this. That is my honour. That is my sadness. As the collective memory takes another blow, there are things that will no longer be remembered. Those things will no longer have happened. When Joyce leaves, If I forget, so will they.
Some already have.
I am forty-eight. not old by a long shot. But still, this year, as I begin to think of myself as fifty, as half-way, I and my friends, my close friends, those long friends, those who have been with me for decades, for lifetimes, and those with whom I cannot recount decades but feel as though lifetimes have been spent in their splendid company, with those friends I have begun discussing who goes first.
Perhaps it is the death of my wife nearly two years ago. The shaking out of any sense of permanence and security. The blowing of the ram’s horn, the clanging of the cymbals, that shocks off the clinging illusion that anything lasts but love.
Perhaps it is the suicides, both successful and non, that have surrounded me. The conscious choice to leave on one’s own terms.
Perhaps it is just age.
I have been…
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