without words, temporarily

Earlier today I read a blog from Roxanne Gay. At a time I should have been sorting paperwork. Or writing poems. Or grading papers. But I needed a break, so I roamed through the various subscriptions on my dashboard. The last paragraph in her latest entry indirectly, unexpectedly, hit hard. I am still digesting the cause and effect of the text.

She discussed in a frank, painfully honest tone the ramifications of obsessing over the past. Seeking out someone in her past. Finding someone from her past on-line. Then deciding what to do with the information.

As I stated in her comment section:
"After reading your observation regarding the past anonymous friend, I thought, ‘why not?’ —typed out my own Google searches on college connections. Result: instant baggage. The face I sought out passed away in November 2010. Left behind a tacky obituary image and misspelled name in the town paper. No heirs. No possessions. Buried in a nondescript small town in Iowa. And he was a year younger than myself. Athletic. Charmer. Academic plus."

So now I sit, type, wait for the reactionary waves to fade. Leaving me wondering how to handle the information. A few months ago I dreamt about him, one of those alternative timestream type of dreams that act as if time had not passed: we still were rooming on the Drake University campus in the beat up room we once shared, yet the two of us were older. A simple moment, without logic or consequence: he simply rose from his bed, shirtless. Without seeing me on the other side of the room. Looking for a tee shirt to wear.

I could romanticize the moment and say the dream fell in November on the day he died... but life does not often work that way. My dream occurred in late December, after he passed away in Minneapolis. Long after we lost touch. Went down our separate paths.

Eventually, I will move forward. Eventually I will put something more into print. Now I am lost in a Joycean-paralysis wondering what to do. What to feel.


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