Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Grief is a sneaky bastard, isn't he? You think, fine. I'm off to get my oil changed when whoa the universe takes a 60 degree downward slope and you're hanging on to a street light to keep from sliding into some crater you know is there waiting because you've already made one or two visits and it's damn hard to climb out, once you're down there. Then too, if you are at all inclined to note the thoughts streaming along with the emotions, you'll be aware that they are all selfish. All about why did he leave us, leave me, just now, now when I wasn't the least bit ready? No one was. And why that horrible way? Alone? In a trailer, for God sakes! Not even a double-wide! Bottles everywhere. Although it did look like he was trying to taper off with beer. Not his roommate. His empties were all squared off heavy glass. Bourbon, I think. And the wanker, the roommate, was gone--never a trace of him again. Did he know my brother was dead before he left? Dunno. Ah, well. It doesn't matter, I guess. Maybe he could have dialed 911. Maybe the bleeding in my brother's brain could have been stopped. Can they stop that sort of internal bleeding once it's begun? More to the point, maybe, is whether Ric would have wanted them to save him one more time. Yes, of course, he would have. He would have wanted to return to us eventually. After one more excruciating detox, fighting hallucinations and sweats, chills and shakes, hauntings and cravings, remorse and self-loathing. He would only have had to make it past that, start with nothing again one more time, try to keep some food down for a while, work day labor before he could stand on his rubber legs properly, and he'd have been all right. Back in the world, coming to Sunday dinner, grilling steaks, using a linen napkin to wipe a blob of ketchup off his face. As it happened--he didn't have to do any of that this time. He fell, made it to his bed, and his brain, which had hit the back of his skull according to the autopsy, (there had to be one because it was an unattended death), started to bleed. They told me he had probably been dead over 12 hours when I found him. That's why he was gray. It's okay that I found him. Somehow I always knew I would be the one to do that. Funny how that, at least, worked out.