Drops of water
of Russian sage
on crossed paws
of locust tree
just like this
you would have said
(Requiem by Abigail Gramig)
I've wanted to write about Suzanne almost every day that I've woken up since Deceber 14th. I can't even bring myself to use a euphemism. I can't quiet my head and allow myself to face the truth. And then I tell myself, no one actually knows the truth. No one knows what happens once you're gone from this dimension. She could still be here in someway. Right?!
And so I've avoided writing about Suzanne, because this all sounds incredibly personal and painful and really should I be sharing this here?; well, I finally realized I can barely show up here without doing it. I want to talk about Suzanne, I want her name said once a day, I want to think of her and be able to bring her up, something she said or did or a memory of something that happened, I just want her remembered, talked about. But more than anything, I want to talk with her.
It's the foreverness of it all that makes my heart constrict. That makes me never want things to be totally quiet anymore. There's a movie going. Or there's music. Or both. And yet I crave it, I think about it, I wish I could quiet things down... but that's too quiet, there's too much room there to have reality set in.
I had planned on growing old with Suzanne. I could see it with clear vision. It involved family, laughter, wrinkles, grey or still dyed hair (we were forever dying our hair) and a park bench, or a porch, somewhere in Brooklyn, because we had finally accepted what we'd all resisted for years, and RK and I eventually retired there. We're telling stories to make the other one gasp! One of us is smoking, most likely. We get a phone call from my sister, K., saying she's coming to visit...
The forever part feels crazymaking.
In December, when I went to NYC for the memorial I was delirious. The service felt surreal. I was numb.
In February, when I went back with intent, to celebrate Suzanne's life and friendship: this time, I thought, I'll punch the city in the face, then I'll kiss it straight on the mouth, then I'll scream at it and ask how it could wrong me this way. And then I'd forgive it. I had to.
RK, my sister and I, as well as other good friends, traveled to the very city where we all lived some of our greatest years together with Suzanne. We would be gathering with so many more friends over the next week and reliving memories. I really didn't know what would happen. I'd hoped I'd keep it together, but I was also hoping to fall apart, fall down in the streets and, fall in love again. This was our city.
I was received, I was welcomed, I was challenged and I was rewarded.
But I missed Suzanne.
After a full night of revelry, all in the name of our friend, the next day my sister and I headed out to Suzanne's home in Brooklyn. We turned onto her block and it started to snow. That instant.
The flakes lightly floated onto our jackets and touched our faces and the moment we arrived at her door, I turned to face my sister and
As instantly as it began.
It was an amazing week, incredibly high in a non-stop movement of friends and city and talk of Suzanne. Every glass that was raised, every toast that was made, was made in her name. These people, these NY friends of ours, they made this happen. I walked by the buildings we lived in and the restaurants we ate at and did the cappuccino at our local joint ino, where we always saw someone we knew. This time it was Patti Smith.
Suzanne would've loved that.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012