On Friday, Jo in the chemist's offered her condolences, and on Saturday, the butcher said, Tommy was some character, we'll miss him. My mood lifts in these moments.
Time is strange right now, it doesn't flow from one day to the next. Was it only last weekend we laid Tommy in the graveyard? I meet Daragh's cousins in the Supervalu, and our shared wound sharpens among the flowers, the pastries, the fruits for sale.
But our growing to-do list will soon restructure time into a shape we understand. I spend mornings on errands and chores, as we've moved into the house above the pub, and afternoons are grounded by stories of others people's pain, Marie Darrieussecq's Our Life in the Forest, Ingrid Rojas Contreras's Fruit of the Drunken Tree, and now Marjorie Liu's Monstress. Nights: dog walks, minding the pub, drinks with friends.
Yesterday my friend posted photos of flowers she had pressed on pages inscribed with dates and places, with the caption finding pressed flowers that you forgot about is almost as good as putting on a summer jacket and finding a fiver in the pocket. Her post shares that delicate fortune, freshening memories of meadows, uncut lawns, and wild verges.