Her life was as translucent as the sunshine, honest as the day.
Her heart was as pure as
She had no dark corners or hidden thoughts.
She had no secrets.
She made a book. That told everybody, from everywhere, what had become of her.
She mailed a copy to . . .
old school friends,
friend of her mother's,
kids she went to playgroup with,
boys she kissed once then thought better of,
old work colleagues,
current work colleagues,
her distant cousins on another continent,
people who only knew her through her words.
Typed, black upon white.
But her book was, oddly, very similar to everybody else's.
Apart from the photographs of candles.
And her dead child listed in a corner. The lower right hand corner of page 59. Not prominently.
You'll find her if you look hard enough. Her first daughter. Georgina.
Some people do find her.
You think of all of those people. How they remember you. How you probably aren't that person anymore. They see you, the you in the book, walking towards them through dust, the dust from the rubble from a collapsing building.
Sometimes I'm surprised that all of these books are so crystal clear. The photographs and copied jokes so pristine.
That the photographs aren't clouded with dust. From all those buildings that must have fallen down in the midst of their construction. Making those clear statements fuzzy around the edges.
No . . no baby photographs here. Please move away. This is a demolition zone.
Family pictures missing a husband.
Missing a father.
Books maintained in the name of the dead.
Or books left to lie still in the name of the dead.
A disconcerting reminder.
Because one day yours will join them.
Flutter, flutter, flop.
Well maintained prettiness finally given up.
But sometimes you'll find that the friend who was yours when you were thirteen.
Whom you became too dull for.
You'll find that friend and they'll know what to say to you.
They'll send you a folded up piece of paper. You'll be thirty something. But you won't have forgotten her handwriting. Like a message passed in the class room. Like you used to. In those days before over burdensome books like this became the fashion. Can't pass those around. You're bound to get caught.
The piece of paper will say, 'I wanted to acknowledge Georgina. I know that there is nothing that I could ever say to make it better.'
And the teacher will ask, "What's so important in that letter Catherine W.? What's so important that you are not paying attention to me?"
And you'll swallow it. Smiling.
Because you don't have many secrets left.
Perhaps that isn't entirely a bad thing.
Undignified but hey? Nobody ever said that dignity was the aim.
And would she be adding this to her book? The woman. Who tried to have no secrets. Who was tired of having secrets.
Umm . . . . . . . . . let me see . . . . . . nope.
Now I feel ok but every night before I sleep. I wish I had kept it to myself for me to keep.