There are so many dead that I know and loved and feel haunted by, and I swear I see them on the street, or see them out of the corner of my eye, unchanged all these years, unknown until this moment of knowing. I have dreams of the dead, that are more than memories of the dead, and it’s so weird to think about all the funerals I’ve been a part of, that left marks on me, scars on me, rips and tears through me. My friend Carl, died so young, couldn’t wake up one morning no matter how hard they tried to wake him. He had his snoopy toy in his casket. I remember talking to him before hand, not even a month before hand, and he was telling me about living in a ferris wheel and pissing in a cup and eating cold food at a carnival just to get by.
And then my aunt Dar, and her husband, and she was only seven years older than me and always babysat me and she felt like a big sister to me. It seems so weird that she’s not here anymore, and it feels like she should be here, even though she’s not. I still can’t remember her body in the casket, it’s like my mind is refusing to remember it, like it wanted it to be just straw and nothing real there, even though I know I remember seeing it, and I remember everything else with vivid clarity, but when I try to see her in the casket my mind just shows a ghost, shows a nothing, shows a film of something else.
And my grandpa who didn’t have a funeral but more like a wake, like a big party where he was at, and everyone was sitting around, remembering him, talking about him. I think maybe in some way that was better, that was the key, there wasn’t sadness per se, but the joy of his life, and remembering his life, and keeping everything filled with life. It wasn’t sadness caused by absence, but rather filling the absence with the memories of him, bringing them to light. He’s another one I can’t believe is dead, it just doesn’t feel right, how could he be dead? This guy who showed me how to fix a flat by submerging it in water and searching for the bubbles. This guy who smoked out a wasp’s nest, this guy who grew up in NYC and told me about playing stickball in the streets.
and now I’m sick and dizzy and can’t walk right and can’t drive and every time I stand up I feel like I’m going to fall over and I spent two days puking and all I can think of is all these dead people everywhere, all these ghosts of my life lining up and coming to me in dreams, strange dreams about standing in a crowd and screaming dreams, and even my pet cat who died when I was twenty, even he’s there in my dreams, but he’s multiplied, there are fifty of him, jumping out of people’s mouths, crawling around our legs, leading me somewhere, leading us all somewhere…