Last night, after watching 3/4 of The Hottest State* with Mary Clare, I woke up alone on the couch, in front of the blue TV screen. It was that in between place in sleep where waking thoughts are mixed with sleeping ones, and I was momentarily convinced someone was breaking into the house. The quick feeling of severe panic was magnified by the fact that we're now short the stereotypical protector, and even though my dad's presence has probably never been the best defense against possible intruders, it took a split-second nightmare to finally realize he's gone. A week and a half later...
But in the midst of all of this, a few key learnings:
When you are sad, people like to feed you. If I never see another coffee cake again, I will be lucky.
I now know a multitude of ways to respond to "I'm sorry," "How are you holding up?" and "Take care of your mother."
Even if I thought it was just a cheesy plot device before, the urge to look for signs is irrepressible. The cardinal that lingered in the tree as I ran by panting, showering it in a cloud of sweat. The butterfly that landed on my knee while I sat in the backyard, feet propped up on the trampoline, reading an old issue of Glamour and smoking borrowed Parliaments.** What were before just overly friendly (possibly rabid?) creatures are now sources of comfort.
Even though I've spent the past week doing nothing particularly exerting, I am tired. So ridiculously tired. Sleep until 11:00 and then take a nap at noon tired. The bags under my eyes are beginning to obstruct my vision.
I could not have designed better friends if such a program or robot existed.
My brother Paul is my hero. Number one on the list. To surpass Bill Pullman and Richard Carlisle*** at just 17 years of age is a feat to be admired and a well-deserved achievement.
I am not ready to be normal again.
We**** are rockstars.
*Do not waste your time.
**Grief smoking doesn't count.
***Inventor of the coin-operated vending machine.
****You know who you are.