When I drink, my hands are not mine. They belong to someone else, someone distant, someone perhaps a few people removed from myself. My hands fold laundry carelessly. Tomorrow I will wonder who folded so carelessly, with such blatant disregard for the lines in the fabric. Normally I fold uniform rectangles that stack neatly into piles. Today I fold a Cartesian nightmare. I will look at the rhombi, the lopsided rectangles, the shapes that can barely be called quadrilateral, and sigh, and put them away. Cleanliness is next to godliness, organization is next to cleanliness, my laundry is a mess, and I am a moral failure.
My neighbor greets me, tears welling in her eyes. “I’m so sorry”, she says, for someone a year dead. I console her, tell her that he is in a better place now, that there is nothing anyone can do. Does this make her feel better? It does not make me feel better. Why am I consoling you, when your life continues barely interrupted? Why do I try to repair you when you have not spoken to me outside the parameters of death? I will retreat into my own private well of grief, and you will go back to your children and your house and your car payments, and forget.