We are not allowed this. We are allowed to be deeply into basketball, or Buddhism, or Star Trek, or jazz, but we are not allowed to be deeply sad. Grief is a thing that we are encouraged to “let go of,” to “move on from,” and we are told specifically how this should be done.
As far as I know, the first house in the neighborhood to adopt a year-round skeleton display was a small Cape Cod a couple of blocks from me. The skeletons sat side by side, day after day, in their Adirondack chairs, holding hands as if starring in a Cialis commercial.
When I was a senior in high school, I became obsessed with the home movies Dad kept in his armoire, behind bottles of cologne. Every day I’d reach through a cloud of Brut and vanilla musk, remove a tape from the stack, and watch the footage alone in our basement, captivated by images of the kid I used to be.
It started with the mouse in the grass by the sidewalk, ants / crawling on its face. Aidan wanted to touch it. I drew him back / and held him. We talked about the gray fur and the tiny ants. He asked / if the mouse was going to go home to his mama and daddy. / No, I told him, the mouse won’t get to go home again.