Today my father sent an email to my siblings and I titled "VITAL INFORMATION." He and my mother are going to Chile, in a few weeks. The email contains a document, the heading of which is "Vital Information Upon My Demise." All sorts of things are listed, the things that everyone lists, banks, passports, birth certificates, safe deposit boxes, cars, executors of the wills. All this tumbledown, the things we keep ourselves busy with after funerals.
On the list of items in the safe deposit box, filed under Miscellaneous: "Trick wooden box with a silver dollar in it." I repeat this to myself twice. "Trick wooden box with a silver dollar in it." It makes me weep, immediately. This small thing. I can see myself perfectly, standing in the anonymous bank, on an unknown day, in a black coat, in a gray room full of boxes, doubled over, holding this trick wooden box with a silver dollar in it.
Do you know about The Rumpus? I subscribed recently, to receive "overly personal emails from Stephen Elliot." Lately these emails have been making me cry. It's as if you've just moved to an apartment in a city you've lived in for years, and these letters start coming. They're not addressed to anyone. You've been hoping for this sort of thing, this type of intimacy. The letters are perfect. They keep coming. You keep reading. One day the writer says, "If you write back, I won't respond," so you write to him. He keeps his promise.
It's not so bad, chickadees, to be alone. But it's good, too, to be in Boston & moving so quickly it's unclear exactly who you were or where or what with whom. And that's fine for awhile. While I was in Boston for New Year's I got to spend some time around Cass McCombs and music/art mates, including the artist Albert Herter and director Aaron Brown of Focus Creeps. All sweet & talented people who I hope to cross paths with again. This song's on repeat in my head: