Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times
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I could feel the losses of my past lurking nearby. Not just animals but other losses, too. They exhaled from the piles like human whispers.
After that incident I sorted people into two categories: those who could sing and those who couldn’t. I was now relegated to the land of Couldn’t, an exile from the country of music.
Everything new disappears, within and without. Alzheimer’s disease is eroding her hippocampus. . . . She has what the neurologist calls “rapid forgetting,” so she lives in a state of evanescence; nothing holds.
I felt a flash of hope for you, even though I knew — because of the distant and resigned tone of your voice — that you were going to die soon.
I know now this is the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship: right before the woman leaves. It’s when some women get murdered. I was lucky.
I didn’t see my father die, but I know there were no planes, no guns, no crowd of onlookers below. I imagine that, like Kong, he closed his eyes easy.
I didn’t know whether Grandpa knew that I knew. “My dad told me,” I said. “I’m sorry.” Grandpa got misty, then nodded and said, “He’d had enough.” To this day I believe this is the most empathetic way to understand suicide.
It was too quiet: no bellowing of elk, no call of owls. As I opened the front door, I could smell the beef stew I’d left simmering on the stove, but there was no music, and our dog Neva did not greet me.
I’d never been taught how to say no to an adult — nor even to consider the possibility that it might be necessary to do so.
I’m the one who was so desperate for a dog that I sat on the wood floor of our living room, hour after hour, week after week, and memorized the dog section of the encyclopedia.