It is taking me a while to realise that Joe is gone, gone for good. I still expect to find myself curious every now and then about whether he is still going for organisational psych ('cause I thought that was interesting--he really cared about people and was insightful, and with his gift of being a solid, strong back; I wondered how he'd fit into the business-type world) and how the band is going.
I can almost not bear the thought of his family without him. They won't be complete without him. He has always been there. They were such a family unit; living and sinewy and alive and separate and connected. But without one of them? I don't understand . . .
I've been really good at not crying for the past two or three days; my friends have taken such good care of me in that I do not have to be alone if I don't want to, and I am not pressed to talk about it but they don't seem to think it would be odd or uncomfortable if I did break down in tears in front of them. And it is funny how gracefully friends can do that; some of them so I didn't even notice that I was being supported until afterwards. But that is harder to explain, and so I will content myself with telling you how awkward and wonderful that care can be.
I haven't cleaned my room. I have no clean facecloths left. I left my heater on all night last night so that I mightn't freeze this morning. I finally broke down and joined my peer group in our isolated meals that consist entirely of pasta. I can't seem to get the articles of Old English to fit into my head, and one of my professors thought she'd cheer me up by telling me how she remembers seeing one of her young tutored students crack his head open on the pavement. Medieval Latin is alright, now, with ironic thanks to the Dies Irae and my translating partner, J.
I really must give them names.
Joe's family will sound odd without his name in their list. It will be unbalanced, unreal, and the air will hold the silence as if it were fragile, and maybe it is.
Family holidays will be hell; Christmas and Summer and Easter and birthdays for the next (at least the next few) years will end up with a few tears shed in a quiet room. Even to be temporarily distanced, the echo of someone else's laughter is something you can almost hear. Will Joe's laugh echo for how long? We'll never forget him.
It feels so strange to be the only one grieving for him, on this island. Yet I am not alone, but yet am I the only one who feels this grief for my self. In a way, it doubles the pain and dries the tears at the same time.
My voice only quavers sometimes. I have kept myself busy and given myself time to weep.
When does God feel this way? Christ wept.
And now, I have classes tomorrow, all covered over in magnifying glasses of Old English script and sections of photocopies and tea that is too hot in stained and homely mugs. Latin dialogue on the nature of philosophy, the nature of the body, the nature of the universe and of her mystery. Academic words that I want to make practical.
Tomorrow is a Tuesday. How can it be so early in the week?
Chronos is not well, confused by a fever, curled up in a chair in my dorm. Even time grieves.
And my embarrassing metaphors only show their own silliness; what are my words to express anything when I am so confused . . .
Tonight I may be eating alone.