the inevitable, really

Lying in bed, reading a book. I come to the end of the first part and put a bookmark in it. I think of the books I took from my mother’s place, each with a bookmark lingering in them. Stories she never finished? Stories she finished, stuck the bookmark into a random place, and never got around to putting back on the shelves? Stories she never would have finished anyway, the bookmark merely a testament to how far she got before deciding she’d given that story all the time she was willing to give it to get good? I’ve got books lying about the apartment with bookmarks in them for all those reasons.

And thinking about that, a wave of sadness and loss sweeps across me.

Christmas was her birthday. I didn’t really think about it today. Mostly I just watched the birds eat the food I’ve been putting out for them lately, and puttered around the apartment aimlessly. Put off washing the kitchen floor still sticky from yesterday’s hastily-cleaned-up accident with the shattered bottle of sugary drink; ate sparingly. Wanted to go out but not in the cold and snow that covered Seattle last night and today. A typical celebration of the Winter Family Togetherness Holidays, much the same as I’ve done on Thanksgiving or Christmas most every year for most of my adult life, not much less fanfare than Mom and I gave to those holidays after Russell died. If she was alive, I would have called her to wish her a happy birthday; we would have talked about the trip I’d probably soon be taking to visit her, carefully timed to avoid the rush of people traveling for the holiday. But it’s been long enough since her death that the habit of calling her every week or two is faded. And that, too, feels sad and melancholy.

Mortality. Fuck it.

I thought of picking up one of those books taken from her place, after she died, to read tonight. But I didn’t. Because I didn’t feel like I wanted to dig into the feelings I knew those would stir up. But here I am lying in bed with tears running down my cheeks, wishing she was still alive.

Winter solstice is passed, here comes 2018. I guess.