Tomorrow is my late father's birthday: we use his name for a password on my mother's email, and I sometimes type it in in order to see what's going on with her email (it's my way of finding out if she's off line again). It always feels like keeping him alive-- to type his name. A death of someone who you don't live with doesn't leave the same hole in you life as someone you do live with. There are a lot of people in my life who I don't see regularly or even very often, and they come and go in my imagination. So suddenly, when I type his name or note that it's his birthday coming up, he's there in a different way--as if he were still sitting in his recliner in Shinnston reading and watching t.v. And yet know there is no change, nothing to do with that image but hold it: his absence means there can be no new memories. New imaginings, new information, but no new memories.
I went Friday night into New York and met George and Connie Brosi and their son Eagle who has a play called America Perseveres off off Broadway through a New York/Kentucky exchange. It turned out that the theater is underneath the famous funky KGBG bar! We met at the venerable (but somewhat remodeled) Strand bookstore (George and Connie run a major Appalachian book business-- travel all over with their books), had a bite a Veselka, and then went to the play, which was about George and Martha Washington and Chief Pontiac and the Original American sin of violence and racism. Which does not capture how funny the play was. That was a treat-- to see friends, to see Eagle's play.