Monday, September 21, 2009


My right index finger has swollen up like a balloon. I have no idea why. I woke up this morning and it was livid and purple.

It feels odd that people will read this long after the pus (yes, sorry, there was pus -- in a shade of green that might look nice in a t-shirt, but you don't want leaking from above your nail) has gone and the finger is back to normal. Some poor soul will doubtless searhc for "index finger" or "balloon purple" or who knows what and will be served the sorry tale of my swollen digit.

"Digit." Fuck but that word makes me laugh. My sister J had a longtime bf who was a big fan of Lock, stock and two smoking barrels and, a Cockney himself, would delight in quoting that anyone who crossed him would lose a digit. Now I can't see that word without hearing his voice.

J has had few boyfriends, but each has been of a type, I think: mummy's boys. When she was, I'm not sure, 16, I think, she attempted to scandalise our parents by moving her bf, N, into her bedroom in their house. They were resolutely unfazed though and treated him like a second son. A first one, really, because they were going through a phase of treating me like shit.

N died though (after they had split; she wasn't the cause or anything). I wondered how it must feel for J to have had a bf die like that. I've never known it, although I once lied to a gf that an ex had had a fatal car accident to excuse some other thing I did. I will leave it to you to imagine what I could possibly have done that I needed to be bereaved to excuse it.

J was cut up about it. She never felt that her relationship with N was resolved -- his mother was involved somehow in their split. The details are hazy. But I know she felt she had lost something because there was a talk with N that she had never had. I wonder though whether a thinking person must always be left with the feeling that they lack resolution. Our lives have so many possibilities, so many stories that they could reveal; we are bound to wonder what some of them may have held for us. The sadness in my life is, or has been, that those possibilities have narrowed to a small set of unhappy endings, so that I have forgotten that I can at least try to enjoy the book before I get to the final chapter. And there are other things to resolve: I still need to publish a book, to play poker professionally, to live in Siena, to sit in my walled garden at peace with myself and the world. N's death robbed J of the possibility of resolution: I need to take care not to rob myself of it from sheer cowardice, indolence and fear.


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