unaccustomed to

I don’t like the influence Facebook has had on my ability to keep a journal. Instead of saving up thoughts for a lovely, coherent entry, I microblog. Then again, when I was fifteen and sixteen I made short, excited entries in my Livejournal. Facebook and Twitter would’ve been ideal then. Not so much now. I have more to say and consider, more, perhaps, than may be said here, or indeed to anyone. Know please that I am considering, at the very least.

“The Remorseful Day” on WNED. “Lewis, I’m having a heart attack, but first, I’m going to help you break this case!” The way he prepares for his death fascinates me, damn that professor’s eyes for opening mine. He actually sits down and arranges his wishes: he’d like his body to go to science, and no funeral service of any kind, please. I’d do it that way. I will do it that way. I should. I should sit down and work out my wishes. Combine Morse with Five Days at Memorial and I’m inclined to make sure everyone knows what it is I want in the end. One thing’s clear to me after this semester: we do a lot for the dying to keep ourselves comfortable. We don’t privilege their voices nearly as much as we ought.

“Lewis, here we are in Coronary Care, but I’m going to give you another major break before I go.”

It’s his life’s work done.

Will mine ever be? For while there’s life there’s bound to be work. Cases may come and go, but I may need to be persuaded to retire during a lull in the action. Do I maybe want to die on the job, somebody’s Oma to the end? Do I want them to find my gnarled little body in its papa-san (there may always need to be a papa-san), with my laptop open and my final can of Pepsi just cracked? And will it be a curly straw or just a cheap straight one?

Even Morse has someone to mourn him. I must live in the hope that, like Morse, there will be someone left to mourn me. Maybe I’ll become one of the venerable aunties and uncles of Thescorre. Maybe I’ll have to move. The younger generation of my own family has forgotten I exist. The children I took swinging at the Kirchweih won’t have a face to put to the name of that distant cousin. Julia’s babies, Georg’s, these are not yet born. They could know me someday. Being hypothetical, I cannot count on them. So it’s the family I make and not the family who made me who will come to matter most.

Do you wonder why I cling so hard to the people I meet and love? It’s because this is the magnitude of my loss. Thirteen years. My grandfather. My grandmother. My father’s best-beloved brother between them, and Pat-next-door. Before that thirteen years, I was down two grandparents already, three if you count Ray, probably four because I doubt Dorothy made it to the Century of the Fruitbat. I get to stand around and watch them all fall, or forget me, and I know why the Doctor loves his TARDIS better than any other soul: she is the constant. She is eternal. He can survive millennia and she will watch over him.

I’m going to lose everyone who loves me, but if new people love me, it won’t hurt as much. So I can’t shut down. I can’t give up. And I won’t go away without being pushed.

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