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Wednesday, June 19, 2002
Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday 2:50 PM EST

That letter I wrote to my father arrived today. There are two spots of blue on my index finger left over from when my pen exploded while writing the letter somewhere between Jacksonville and Newark. My mother and I read it together, not long after we had gone through one of my popís dresser drawers and found that he had saved nearly everything I ever wrote to him.

It was excruciating.

Tuesday 9:35 PM EST

My father talked me out of Christianity at 11 and out of God altogether at 13. He didnít believe in magic and, as a direct result, neither do I. (While I can, of course, trace most of my anxiety attacks to this point in time, as an adult, the logic is flawless.) If my father knew what I was about to do, he would kill me

The funeral is tomorrow and I'm preparing a bible reading.

Of course, Iím reading scripture for my mother and I need to believe that he would understand that. Nothing on this planet mattered more to him than she did and I know he would want me to take care of her. Unfortunately, that means throwing my beliefs right straight out the window, but there it is.

By the way, everyone keeps asking how Iím doing. Itís clear that Iím taking ďHold Your Shit TogetherĒ lessons from Jackie O and my mother. The minute I feel myself fall apart, I imagine how one of them would handle the situation. So far, neither has failed me.

Wednesday 10:10PM EST

I spent from the moment I arrived in Connecticut until sunset this evening pretending my pop was in the hospital. Probably stupid and shortsighted, it was the only way for me to keep focused on everything that needed to be handled expediently, efficiently and with a modicum of grace. Hell, I actually laughed during this period. I even ATE FOOD.

Something with sharp edges, however, has been poking around my consciousness and this evening, after the service, after all the visitors went home, I let myself look at it for just a minute.

I let myself remember that my father was dead.

Whatever I thought was tormenting me before was only a rustle compared to the deafening roar that knocked me flat as I looked at my fatherís grave tonight.

My fatherís grave.

Oh my god. I say those words inside my head and then out loud and wonder how much more horrifying can this be? Well, let me tell you. Have your father cremated and try looking at what was once an enormous heart and wit and body and love and see it reduced to a small vinyl box. VINYL for fuckís sake.

Then, THEN, shove this box into the ground and tamp down a dirt clod on it. If you can successfully conger up these images and experience their accompanying emotions, youíll have an idea.

I looked at his grave this evening and couldnít speak. While I certainly did see the box during the service this afternoon, I did NOT see the tiny hole in the ground underneath (my mother insists it was there). This man, so gentle and loving and kind and generous in life didnít even get a decent hole in the ground at the end of it.

Now I know my father. He never wanted to be a bother. He never wanted to be in anyoneís way and that heís so neatly and compactly taking up such a small space now would probably please him, I just fucking canít stand it. Thereís a hole in my heart the size of Connecticut and I want to see the earth torn up around it, raw and bleeding with me.

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