June 08, 2005

feels flip floppy

I think that the turning point in your 40s is the point at which you realize you know more dead people than living people. I mean more people gone than here. Maybe that's not 40s for everyone, maybe it's 30s or 50s or 60s for some, but for me I think 43 is the pivitol year, the year that I realize I know more people below ground than above ground, and that's a strange damn feeling, like you're stepping on your past wherever you go. In blogging I met a whole world of living folks, which has been interesting for sure, and maybe it's making us all younger because it adds to our balance of living people we know.

Stepping on the dead is something you learn about when you spend a lot of time at cemetaries as a kid, and since I was a kid staring at my dad's grave, I know something about that, not knowing where the edges are, where it's okay to step or not, where does my dad end and the soil begin, the least they could do is put a chalk outline on top of the grass, and the other thing is the tombstone, that most of them have two sides and there's writing on both sides, and it makes you feel like you're not sure if you're coming or going, if it's talking to the dead person or to you, the visitor, about the dead person. Then there are tombstones that are messages FROM you TO the dead person, "Our loving mother...You graced us for 87 years...Now you walk with God," and in the end, I never understand who the audience is. Kind of like the edges of the grave and where not to step. Somewhere it's about marketing, about making mistakes that no one notices, about turning 43.

I always thought my dad needed a bigger tombstone. Leastwise it could have mapped out the parameters for the placement of my feet.

There are rules about flowers too, live and dead, what you can leave and can't.

It gets tricky is what I'm saying.

I think of these sometimes when I'm trying to fall asleep.