Wednesday, April 20, 2005


I was stoned, am stoned because today is April 20, and there wasn't a reason yesterday besides that of boredom and the onset of warm weather. And the gall to do this in the face of so much misery that this stuff causes, the hubris to drink and smoke all day for the past week with the evidence of my dad in jail, in a hosptial bed dying of lung cancer, an alcoholic uncle, and to do this, to do so much stupid stuff just to exercise a sort of privilege, that I can afford to take these liberties with my body and my amount of time happily inside it. It just seems like the most juvenile sort of privilege to do this when the risks are presented too explicitly. I felt like absolute shit reading about Paul M.'s overdose last night, that another one of my peers is dead in what seems like too quick a succession of years.

He was set to be my downstairs neighbor in a couple weeks when Diana moved to Nantucket. I don't know what that means, what death does. When you hear news, bad news, there is that terrible silence where your heart drops and the delay before you catch your breath and your heart again rises is so terribly long that in that brief moment you wonder if that moment is going to come, of if this right here is the bit of news that is going to do your heart in for good, that this time might be the time your heart just doesn't have enough elastic to make that bounce back, but it does. And with perhaps just the slightest bit of regret that that was not in fact the end of world, that you are still breathing makes your heart beat fast for those minutes afterward when this fleeting knowledge of the world and what time means or might mean passes as soon as the initial shock does, and sometimes you are walking down the street, on my way to get ice cream, the aftershocks of that initial shock are still vibrating out and you will get a pang as a car passes you too closely and you vaguely recall the permanent injury of a kid in your neighborhood hit by car and the fragility of it all, made vulnerable to the wind brushed against you by the passing car. And the sun is out. I walked to the store for junk food with this news in my head and the sun on my legs because I was in shorts and that amazed me. Sad news makes me happy in a singular way, that the fragileness is the ugly thing that we curse, but the thing that gives them beauty. Wallace Stevens inspired, sure, "Death is the mother of beauty," and the shortness makes everything so much more prettier, that they soon won't be. And I veered between this happiness and this grief on my walk in the sun and I don't know what to say, think it might be better to say nothing, but I have passed that point long ago.

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