We couldn’t have foreseen winter’s blitzkrieg out on the lake front. It had been years since anything so devastating had come to the hamlet. Almost overnight the town went into a shocked hibernation. Thousand of dollars were buried in icy decay. Half of the inhabitants got the hell out to the Florida sunshine, the other half locked their doors and waited for a sign of life to crack through the dead surface of things.
Along with a golden autumn that gave us no warning of things to come, my wife once more took her silent, swift exit, Mother. It was too late to hope for a change in the weather. I almost expected the end again.
Most days I want to sleep, nothing more...force the mind to remain in the night time world-the mind that tires me daily as it races faster and faster. I will wait for age to find me, under the blanket with a book and a coffee, a bag of chocolate almonds.
I can actually tolerate most days...that whole freedom's just another word for...whatever that was he lost.
There seems to be little left for me now. Desperation closes in like a Russian army. My dreams have gone cold. I suppose I should whip myself for not heeding your warnings about education and the Anglican church and the proper way to speak to a bank manager. But you were such a task-master! Your teachings were flawed; I blotted you out like a bored schoolboy, from the first day of class.
And before I am accused of being self-piteous or any such crazy condition, I will have you know that I've studied every syllable of Cohen and Keats and I'm in good company. We're all beautiful losers.
Yes, I wonder why the young birds get bruised as they topple from the edge of the nest. Is it their fault after all? Were they supposed to have nestled forever in Mother's breast? I've never accepted the unsettling course of things. I've never found a clear flight path.
Where are your bruises? Can I see them?
Perhaps, however, you and I are much too old and far too cold to engage in philosophy and spirituality. Such lofty notions sit like dusty knick-knacks on our shelves. I've moved my email subscription to "All About God" to my spam folder. I can't bear to read it. I haven't decided whether its truth frightens me or its flickering claim to saving grace seems merely a waste of words.
All things aside, I think I look pretty good. I trust that you look immaculate. We can both connect to the surface of things. I knew that my hair would fall out...three generations can't be wrong. You're lucky that way...you have Miss Clairol...I have nowhere for Miss Clairol to stay. That is how I tried to convince Darren that he was not one of us..his hair is thick and full. I assured him that he was adopted. But he merely circled around the gene pool somehow, sly fox. His good looks came from one source alone...dad was a kind of wrinkly old bastard.
But it is time, dearest woman, for both of us to do or die, fix or fail. I have engaged in countless dissertations regarding the surface of things vs the depth of things. I have mapped it out like a math teacher. To prove my point I have jumped into your dark waters and I've pulled you into mine. I accused you of being shallow while you accused me of being deep. I have volunteered to drown that you may breathe. I have implored you to take hold of my every word that we both may swim to safety. I fear I would see more success in getting my beagle to sit pretty for a prime rib. I call him Super-Cow-Dog. I bet he knows more than us...more than our victories have granted us, more than our trials. I bet he knows the only thing we are missing. I bet he would reject at least 99 percent of our policies and practices.
Fuck! I cannot end this book! Did you not read of hope? Did I dash it somewhere in my ramblings? Did you not read of love? Was I not able to spell it properly? Did we not discuss it all, from bloody lips to broken dreams to betrayal to loyalty? Did we not stand on that pond of tears together and scream at our own reflections? Did we not dance with nightmares and run back to the soft embrace of our dreams? Did we not find a path away from bitter memory? Did we not make it in from the rain? Did we not?
Most days I wonder if it even matters any more.