It's been awhile since I've been so in love with a book with every word I read--several months at least. I have plenty to say about job applications, interviews, the debate on whether I could/should get a car and/or scooter, saying goodbye to students I really like, internal and external pressures to come to the east coast, etc. But this is what I want to focus on right now. There's plenty of time for all the rest.
All I want is not to die on a day I went unseen. A few months ago I saw an ad in the paper. It said, NEEDED: NUDE MODEL FOR DRAWING CLASS. $15/HOUR. It seemed too good to be true. To have so much looked at. By so many.
Bruno, my old faithful. I haven't sufficiently described him. Is it enough to say he is indescribable? No. Better to try and fail than not to try at all. The soft down of your white hair lightly playing about your scalp like a half-blown dandelion. Many times, Bruno, I have been tempted to blow on your head and make a wish. Only a last scrap of decorum keeps me from it. Or perhaps I should begin with your height, which is very short. On a good day you barely reach my chest. Or shall I start with the eyeglasses you fished out of a box and claimed as your own, enormous round things that magnify your eyes so that your permanent response appears to be a 4.5 on the Richter? They're women's glasses, Bruno! I never had the heart to tell you.
My heart is weak and unreliable. When I go it will be my heart. I try to burden it as little as possible. If something is going to have an impact, I direct it elsewhere....When I pass a mirror and catch a glimpse of myself, or I'm at the bus stop and some kids come up behind me and say, "Who smells shit?"--small daily humiliations--these I take, generally speaking in my liver. Other damages I take in other places. The pancreas I reserve for being struck by all that's been lost. It's true that there's so much, and the organ is so small....Disappointment in myself: right kidney. Disappointment of others in me: left kidney. Personal failures: kishkes....When the clocks are turned back and the dark falls before I'm ready, this, for reasons I can't explain, I feel in my wrists. And when I wake up and my fingers are stiff, almost certainly I was dreaming of my childhood....(We ran so hard we thought we would spit blood: to me that is the sound of childhood, heavy breathing and shoes scraping the hard earth.)....Yesterday I saw a man kicking a dog and I felt it behind my eyes. I don't know what to call this, a place before tears. The pain of forgeting: spine. The pain of remembering: spine. All the times I have suddenly realized that my parents are dead, even now, it still surprises me, to exist in the world while that which made me has ceased to exist: my knees....to every time I've woken only to make the mistake of believing for a moment that someone was sleeping beside me: a hemorrhoid. Loneliness: there is no organ that can take it all.