After my father died, life continued. Still, I was always taken aback by his terrible absence, marked so bitterly by the thick layer of dust that settled about the house. It lay in every corner, in deep slopes, and no amount of cleaning could unsettle it.
And in a similar way, every time I listened to a piece of music he would have admired, or a book he would have recommended, he passed across my memory, and then I would simply think, Oh.
When I slept, he told me things. In my dreams he whispered secrets, but they were soundless for there were no more secrets.
Sometimes, when at work or while shoe shopping or between mouthfuls at dinner, I would be bowled over by a surge of plaintive emotion. One that has no true name but one that is cruel and ruinous.
I always told myself: Things will get better. But they never did.