Ten months.

Yesterday was the ten-month anniversary... 'Anniversary' is such an inadequate word. Wrong. No celebration is represented, only most deliberately honoring her and sharply regretting the fact. That we have to. That taking her life and youth and well-being for granted no longer applies. Is no longer possible. A fact as wrong as the word 'anniversary' to describe the 10th.

My heart growls for a different reality, like the rumbling hunger of a skipped breakfast/lunch/dinner/lifetime worth of meals. My head subsists on numbness and neglecting memory. On skipping hours. I'm returning now from a trip to Newfoundland with M -- my/our first since Costa Rica and the sudden lack of Katie. Heavy, this hole-shaped her. A her-shaped hole. And getting darker with every passing "first since." Come two months from today, on Oct. 11th, 2011, we'll no longer be able to look back a full year and wonder, 'what had she been doing then?' Come a year past from that date, she'd have already been gone. Empty, the thought and its feelings of this soon expected new fact -- just like the already tired old facts of this last year.

["My sister's life was 21 years long."]
["My sister's life was 21 years long."]
["There is no 22."]

No 2011. And no acceptable explanation. No 'okay.'

She takes with her our remaining years as well, as adequate. As acceptable. 2011 has been barely a blur of a year. So will all the other years, however many more there might be. The her-shaped hole remains, and a hole won't be painted over, despite the vibrancy of hue offered. Even though she deserves to be decked out in only the brightest of colors. So we just keep painting around it -- outlining/contrasting/highlighting the black, as there's no covering a hole with paint. Or words, for that matter.

[last night i dreamt about you, my sweet sister. it was the fast forward from the before to the after, and all of it i'd photographed with my phone along the way. browsing through the wretched time past, spent in a house that was unfamiliar to me, i somehow notice a brief blur in one of the electronic images of the after. i zoomed in, and there you were, defying all that has most recently become true, despite ourselves. it was you, but it wasn't. 'you' were floating above the room, parallel to the floor and looking down on it serenely. i recognized the outfit you wore. so it must have been you, despite the impossibility of your position and timing. i ran around the house, trying to call everyone's attention to the concrete proof that you existed still, somewhere, in some alternative realm, and that you peeked in on this one occasionally and looked to be at peace with it! like you were still here, almost. but when i found people around, the different faces of my family, the picture was gone. not just you, but the picture itself, having taken you with it. i could no longer find it among the other dull, gray images. i spent hours hitting the snooze button this morning, trying to buy the time it would take to once again spot the image before i had to awake. to this. but of course i couldn't.]

-L (8/11/11)

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