Header art Ralph Steadman
Midnight hour notes from the hermitage
Talk to me honey, not out loud in your real voice, I’m not that crazy, but oh your voice, a voice my brother used to say he loved to listen to — Susan’s got a great voice, he said, a radio voice, that’s the voice I want to hear now, silently in my mind.
I crave intelligent conversation, devoid now a year and nine months, which is one of the hideous insidious invidious aftershocks of you dying is there is no one else in my world still alive to talk to about books and literature and writing and movies all the things that interested us that are lost on people I encounter when I venture out into the void.
The closest I came to some sort of thoughtful contact was when someone told me to write you a letter and tell you how things are going and how I feel and so forth, and I said, I dont get it, write a letter to my wife? What’s the point of that ? And then I said like a damn fool, What address would I put on it, c/o Saint Gabriel, Paradise Road, Heaven? Or is it General Delivery, Oblivion? And the person was justifiably annoyed and said I was an idiot and impossible to talk to and that I deserved to be alone.
Which I couldn’t argue with because the desolate knowledge that you,dear dead wife, your mind your brain and all your memories and awareness and warmth and generosity were obliterated in one fell swoop of death, the end result being as though you never existed,as though you were never born and the only semblance of your life is that which now resides in my own mind as memories while you yourself remember nothing.
And that to me is the real sumbitch of death.