I lift my head from the black sheeted bed before midnight. Tears in my eyes. I remember the dead. Or those dead to me. Those I loved. Who either perished. Or I lost touch with. Through the viscitudes of time and distance.
“There’s a grief that can’t be spoken, there’s a pain goes on and on…” Les Misérables plays. I feel close to the grave. This time of year. Autumn. Fall.
The anniversary of my domestic partner’s suicide. A gouge cutting through my heart and soul. To pour forth tears of blood. Again. And again. I am like this every year. It’s almost eight years since she passed.
I remember many a dear friend. Who I no longer know is still alive. The morbid ritual of checking the Social Security Death Index. I’ve done it for years. Checking to see if old friends were still alive. Somewhere out there. Looking for what I fear.
By 2020, the Social Security Death Index is no longer free online. It feels like an act of grace. More losses I cannot bear tonight. I weep nevertheless. Into the black sheets. Remembering the woman who once stood beside me. Held me in brief yet perfect love.
When I remarried. Seven years later. I could not sleep in the same bed as my new wife. I was too scarred. Too afraid. To wake up to another corpse. Another vale of tears.
I saw a rift coming. Pushed that wife away. Aware my own intimacy issues prevent me. From in person human relationships. We divorced. I must be alone.
I have lost no one to COVID. Yet. That I know of. Those last two sentences strike like deep bells gong.
“For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” My own death I am less worried about. I am one door in the grave already. It is those few people left in my life that I love. My parents. Sister. We are all getting older in the times of pandemic apocalypse. 200,000 dead does not go unnoticed.
As relieved as I am, that divorcing my wife. removed my only disease vector. My grief creeps close tonight. The veil is thin.
It is the week of the waxing moon between the witches sabbath Mabon and my birthday. A full moon on my birthday? Perhaps will rouse me.
The plunge from yesterday’s mania, to today’s grieving, is like falling off Niagara Falls. A plunge so far. So deep. That I am always shocked. When a few days or hours later. I rouse again. In mirth. Anxiety. Psychosis. Or consumption.
I cannot get off the Schizoaffective go round, it is a carousel ending only in that final transition. To final rest. I am not ready yet. It is a strict rule I have. I will not be the active agent of my own death. It will surprise me. As natural.
Yet the pain goes on and on.