Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#91 Op. posth. no. 14

It’s April 1st today. When my son was about 5 or 6, he snuck into my bedroom early on the morning of April 1st and threw a glass of water in my face while I was sound asleep. Sorry, but I sprang up, dripping and furious. “What the $%*@# was that for?” Now crying, “It’s April Fool’s Day!” Oh. Right. Fooled me. I pulled him under the wet covers and we settled each other down. The little rascal…

Turns out Henry wasn’t dead after all! Surprise! Just sort of. Two weeks in a coffin—well, it’s all a dream anyway, so we can let the practical implications like eating, other bodily functions, etc., slide. Henry’s looking a little peaked, has some dirt in his hair, maybe, but he’s back, and his ex-wives are waiting, concerned about the insurance payments they’re suddenly not receiving, the press corps is involved, but there’s also that request for a nice hot buttered rum to remedy the six-feet-under chill, and who knows what other fun awaits. “The grave's a fine and private place, / But none, I think, do there embrace.” So, carpe diem, and on with it already.

Except we see at the end that there are plans in the works. Of course there are! It’s really a funny image, that wee-hours insomniac, Henry digging his way back down to the fine, private and restful grave where he got a break for a couple weeks, a kind of still vacation. Way better than golf or the beach, and cheaper. But it’s all for naught, I expect. Wars, sex, anxiety, grief, stretches of nihilistic drunken oblivion, the wonders of art, and singing finches and the murmuring of the restless sea, they all keep at us. There is no rest, but who needs that for long? Get up and tackle it again tomorrow. It’ll be over with for good soon enough. But first,

Wait for a while, then slip downstairs
And bring us up some chilled white wine,
And some blue cheese, and crackers, and some fine
Ruddy-skinned pears.

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