1.28.08 2.2.08 1.11.09

-> who what when where why how -> the questions in journalism are the same as in philosophy, and they’re exotically vile hors d’ouevre; the free, they nibble and pretend to enjoy them and spit into a napkin when no one’s looking. The imprisoned have no choice, there is nothing to do but eat them, all of them, over and over, even though they don’t like them, and they can’t throw up, and even if they could they’d eat them again. But two of them – who and why – are impossible to swallow.

The free use entertainment to escape. Some watch movies. Some play games. The imprisoned use bed sheets to escape. Some out the window. Some round the neck.

Andrew Peterson chose the latter. Imagine the bed sheets, puzzled by their removal from the bed, then disgruntled by the stretching, then trembling with cold terror: Oh God, is he going to, oh, please, his little hairs are poking into me, I’m tightening, I can’t stop tightening. NO! no————— ___________ And then, untied from the neck, balled up, heading for the washer: Why do I have to live? Why didn’t I die? I hope the water’s hot.

Suicide is a final dress rehearsal – a performance for oneself. No audience is allowed. And before the show can even open, it is closed.

-> who who who who who who -> Joel. The day Andrew stabbed my cousin Joel it was my grandmother’s birthday. The day of Joel’s funeral it was my birthday. The day Andrew killed himself it was my grandparents’ anniversary. These three days want to retire from their day job, do something else, maybe a third-shift janitor, where they can come into work without talking to people, listen to music, stare at a dirty floor until it’s clean.

After his death, everyone created a role and clutched it closely. Father became “World’s Greatest Dad”, Stepmom became “Mother Superior”, Ex-girlfriend became “Endless Love.” I became half of a comedy team. We used to mutter jokes to one another, adjusting the volume according to appropriateness. Joel was like Vince Vaughn – a wiseass, but, a wounded one. He had this facial expression that came standard – “premeditated mellow” – it sounds like a paint color, doesn’t it? But he made known every thought, without moving. I could lock eyes with him across the room and feel understood. My sister and I called him Joe Cool.

And my grandparents…they looked at life, and looked at death, and laid down somewhere in between them. You had to lay down next to them to have a conversation. Even then, they didn’t look at you. They looked up. They asked why.

-> why why why why why why ->

They asked you why, Andrew.

You said,

“no reason.”

5 thoughts on “1.28.08 2.2.08 1.11.09

  1. I wonder, is this your way of commemorating the return of new Lost episodes to televisions across the country? I suspect yes, but I’m still trying to decipher all the clues.

    You think very much like an animator when you give an internal dialogue to inanimate objects. It helps you stay charming even when describing death. I am a little surprised, though, that Dies Irae doesn’t start playing when the page loads.

  2. I forgot it was your birthday that day, along with all the other dates. Yeesh. You couldn’t put that in a novel without people flagging it as too Greek. Speaking of writing, I tried to write a scene about you and me on the day of his funeral, in that placid little room with the mini-fridge and the vat of coffee dad brought in, to stall a while longer before having to stay. I got four lines into this scene about us, and stopped. I described you gloriously in the scene notes — but then I realised something humbling, but not really unexpected — I’m not genius enough to write dialogue for you. Your dialogue every day is art.

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