Late Fragment by Raymond Carver
Sometimes it’s the littlest things: the soft click of the spoon against my mug as I stir sugar in my coffee. C. kissing my cheek before leaving the house. Music filling up all twenty square meters of a room. Forgetting to turn off the bedside lamp and waking up to extra light. A quiet breakfast. Some sunshine, despite a prediction of heavy rain.
The world changes, from day to day. Whether I want it or not. Whether I’m prepared for it or not. Whether I pay attention or not.
I exist. Now, to live—
How does one begin again?
There’s starting over from scratch. Throwing away what has been, to make room for what will be. There’s turning to a new page. Starting again. With reminders of what was in the background. (A memory? A ghost?) There’s continuance. Just keeping at it. It goes on. Same page, same haunting. But you go on.
What does it take to rebuild a life?
“Sleeping on the floor makes you closest to the earth.”
Yes. There’s dust, too, and caterpillars that wake me up at two in the morning. Phantom itches. The thought of spiders finding my bed.
I think about these creatures, wrestling with the idea that the world is fleeting and cruel. They go out anyway.
When you live in the dark for so long, you begin to love it. And it loves you back, and isn’t that the point? You think, the face turns to the shadows, and just as well. It accepts, it heals, it allows.
But it also devours.
There was a deep sea; I was drowning, and I let it embrace me. I was floating and not breathing, and calling it a life.
But now there is light. I can see it. It’s time to swim towards it.
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.