Sunday, 20 November 2011

Plumb line

I often wish that Georgina's little life, her death, everything to do with her, could be separated from the rest of my life. By a process like fractional distillation or skimming or the like. That she could be a discrete part of my life. Here, she starts. There, she ends. Complete. Small. Perfect. Contained. Just her. Not tangled up in this nonsense over here, that triviality over there. Here, Georgina. There, bills and supermarkets and putting the bins out. She is above all that, beneath all that, so far away from all that as to be unrecognisable, an almighty overarching presence, a diminishing echo, existing in a set aside place.

Her life and death occupied such a short amount of real time, a temporal blip, and yet they have expanded. Perhaps I have puffed them up with air, inflating something not designed to be inflated and stretching it thin and macabre with my own preoccupations.

Georgina's death felt like a rounded stone, no seams, no joins. Dense and homogeneous. It plummeted downwards, with one perfect splash, concentric ripples evenly spaced. And a wire stretches from that stone. Like a plumb line. Straight. At right angles to the rest of my life, to the living, to her sister, to her brother, to her mother. Away and down, down to the bottom of the sea, to the centre of the earth. Far away but yet. Yet. Just at the end of a wire. A wire that I twang at and tug at and telegraph hopefully. Trying Morse code. 

Only problem is that lots of other stuff seems to have got tangled up in that wire. Old fish hooks, swallowed anger, empty wine bottles, baby clothes, jobs that don't quite meet expectations, cigarette ends, failures, dissatisfaction with our house, shopping receipts, dead things, fluff and hair, silences, vandalism, chocolate wrappers, frustration, resentment, the glare of the internetz, smashed bowls, matching outfits, words I've written, things that I've said. Because all of these things seem somehow involved, implicated, in her death.

I want all this superfluous stuff to get lost, because it is getting in the way. It is blurring my memory and it is spoiling my tenuous lines of communication. With the stone? With her?

A voice that says, "This wire? You're querying this and its many attachments? This wire is here because you are rotten. Rotten. Rotten. Rotten. Why did you think it was here? You idiot. Why do you think she died? You idiot. Idiot. Just in case you didn't hear me the first time."

I pull at my over burdened wire and think to myself, this? This is the link? This is not what I remember. Not this.

I leave the sea and fishing wires and hooks and mix my metaphors hopelessly. 

Because it was something different. I'm sure of it. Sparse and elegant. Clean of limb. Small and precious and shot through with something golden. Desiccated and poised. More like a fire. Or tinder, kindling.

Not slimy and rotten and knotted. Not like this. 

I look at my twisty wire and wonder how this mess ever happened.
How did I let her get tangled up in all this?

Probably because I carried on living when she didn't.