Joy Williams Hawk

 

 

Glenn Gould bathed his hands in wax and then they felt new. He didn’t like to eat in public. He was personally gracious. He was knowledgeable about drugs. He loved animals. In his will, he directed that half his money be given to the Toronto Humane Society. He hated daylight and bright colours. His piano chair was fourteen inches high. His music was used to score Slaughterhouse-Five, a book he did not like. After he suffered his fatal stroke, his father waited a day to turn off the respirator because he didn’t want him to die on his stepmother’s birthday. When Glenn Gould wrote cheques he signed them Glen Gould because he was afraid that by writing the second n he would make too many squiggles. He took prodigious amounts of valium and used make-up. He was once arrested in Sarasota, Florida, for sitting on a park bench in an overcoat, gloves and muffler. He was a prodigy, a genius. He had dirty hair. He had boring dreams. He probably believed in God.

My mind said You read about Glenn Gould and listen to Glenn Gould constantly but you don’t know anything about music. If he were alive you wouldn’t have anything you could say to him…

A composer acquaintance of mine dismissed Glenn as a performer.

Glenn Gould loved the idea of the Arctic but he had a great fear of the cold. He was a virtuoso. To be a virtuoso you must have an absolutely fearless attitude toward everything but Glenn was, in fact, worried, frightened and phobic. The dogs of his youth were named Nick and Banquo. As a baby, he never cried but hummed. He thought that the key of F minor expressed his personality.

You have no idea what that means my mind said. You don’t really know what it is he’s doing. You don’t know why he’s brilliant.

He could instantly play any piece of music from memory. On the whole he did not like works that progressed to a climax, and then to a reconciliation. The Goldberg Variations, which Glenn is most widely known for, were written by Bach for harpsichord. Bach was visiting one of his students, Johann Goldberg, who was employed by a Count von Keyserling, the Russian ambassador to the court of Saxony. The Count had insomnia and wanted some music that would help him through the dark hours. The first notes of the Goldberg Variations are inscribed on Glenn’s tombstone.

My dog rose from his bed and walked beneath the table, which he barely cleared. He put his chin on my knee. He stood there for a few moments, not moving. I could see nothing but his nose. I loved kissing his nose. It was my hobby. He was a big black German Shepherd with accents of silver and brown. He had a beautiful face. He looked soulful and dear and alert. He was born on 17 October 1988 and had been with us since Christmas Day of that year. He was now almost nine years old. He weighed one hundred pounds. His name was Hawk. He seemed to fear nothing. He was always looking at me, waiting for me. He just wanted to go where I was going. He could be amusing, he had a sense of humour, but mostly he seemed stoic and watchful and patient. If I was in a room, he was in that room, no other. Of course we took long walks together and many cross-country trips. He was adept at ferry crossings and checking into motels. When he could not accompany me, I would put him in a kennel, once for as long as two weeks. I felt that it was good for him to endure the kennel occasionally. Life was not all good, I told him. Though mostly life was good. He had had a series of collars over the years. His most recent one was lavender in colour. He had tags with his various addresses and phone numbers on them and a St Francis medal with the words protect us. He had a collection of toys. A softball, and squeaky toys in the shapes of a burglar, a cat, a shark, a snowman, and a hedgehog that once made a snuffling noise like a hedgehog but not for long. They were collected in a picnic basket on the floor and when he was happy he would root through the basket and select one. He preferred the snowman. His least favourite was a large green and red toy–its shape was similar to a large bone but it was an abstraction, it lacked charm. Hawk was in a hundred photographs. He was my sweetie pie, my honey, my handsome boy, my love. On the following day he would attack me as though he wanted to kill me.

As regards to life it is much the best to think that the experiences we have are necessary for us. It is by means of experience that we develop and not through our imagination. Imagination is nothing. Explanation is nothing. One can only experience and somehow describe–with, in Camus’s phrase, lucid indifference. At the same time, experience is fundamentally illusory. When one is experiencing emotional pain or grief, one feels that everything that happens in life is unreal. And this is a right understanding of life.

I loved Hawk and Hawk loved me. It was the usual arrangement. Just a few days before, I had said to him, This is the life, isn’t it honey. We were picnicking on Nantucket. We were on the beach with a little fire. There was a beautiful sunset. Friends had given us their house on the island, an old farmhouse off the Polpis Road. Somehow, on the first night at the house, Hawk had been left outside. When he was on the wrong side of a door he would never whine or claw at it, he would stare at it fixedly. I had fallen into a heavy sleep.

I was exhausted. I was always exhausted but I didn’t go to a doctor. I had no doctor, no insurance. If I was going to be very sick, I would just die, I thought. Hawk would mourn me. Dogs are the best mourners in the world, as everyone knows. In my sleep, in the strange bed in the old farmhouse, I saw a figure at the door. It was waiting there clothed in a black garbage bag and bandages. Without hesitation I got up and went to the door and opened it and Hawk came in. Oh I’m so sorry, I said to him. He settled down at the foot of the bed with a great comfortable sigh. His coat was cool from the night. I felt that he had tried to project himself through to me, that he had been separated from me through some error, some misunderstanding, and this, clearly, was something neither of us wanted. It had been a bad transmission, but it had done the job and done it without frightening me. What a resourceful boy! I said to him. Oh there are ghosts in that house, our friends said later. Someone else said, You know, ghosts frequently appear in bandages.

Before Hawk, I had had a number of dogs that died before their time, from grim accident or misfortune, taken from me unprepared in the twinkling of an eye. Shadrach, Nichodemus, Angel… Nichodemus wasn’t even old enough to have learned to lift his leg. They were all good dogs, faithful. They were innocents. Hawk was the only one I didn’t name from the Bible. I named him from Nature, wild Nature. My parents always had dogs too, German shepherds, and my mother would always say, You have to talk to a dog, Joy, you’ve got to talk to them. It ended badly for my mother and father’s dogs over the years and then for my mother and father. My father was a Congregational minister. I am a Christian. Kierkegaard said that for the Christian, the closer you keep to God and the more involved you get with him, the worse for you. It’s as though God was saying…you might as well go to the fair and have a good time with the rest. Don’t get involved with me–it will only bring you misery. After all, I abandoned my own child, I allowed him to be killed. Christianity, Kierkegaard said, is related only to the consciousness of sin.

We were in Nantucket during the dies caniculares, the dog days of summer, but it was a splendid time. Still, there was something wrong with me. My body had turned against me and was full of browsing, shifting pain. The pain went anywhere it wanted to. My head ached, my arms and legs and eyes, my ribs hurt when I took a deep breath. Still, I walked with Hawk, we kept to our habits. I didn’t want to think about it but my mind said you have to, you have to do something, you can’t just do nothing you know… Some days were worse than others. On those days, I felt crippled. I was so tired. I couldn’t think, couldn’t concentrate. Even so, I spent long hours reading and listening to music. Bach, Mahler, Strauss. Glenn thought that the ‘Metamorphosen’ of Strauss was the ultimate. I listened to Thomas de Hartmann play the music of Gurdjieff. I listened to Kathleen Ferrier sing Mahler and Bach and Handel and Gluck. She sang the famous aria from Gluck’s opera, Orfeo ed Euridice–’What is Life’. We listened to the music over and over again.

Hawk had engaging habits. He had presence. He was devoted to me. To everyone, this was apparent. But I really knew nothing of his psychology. He was no Tulip or Keeper or Bashan who had been analysed by their writers. He knew sit, stay, down, go to your place. He was intelligent, he had a good memory. And surely, I believed, he had a soul.

The friends who had given us the house on Nantucket insisted that I see a doctor about my malady. They made an appointment for me with their doctor in New York. We would leave the Island, return to our own home for a few days, then put Hawk into the kennel and drive into the city, a little over two hours away.

I can’t remember our last evening together.

On the morning my husband and I were to drive into the city, I got up early and took Hawk for a long walk along accustomed trails. I was wearing a white sleeveless linen blouse and poplin pants. My head pounded, I could barely put one foot ahead of the other. How about Lupus? my mind said. How about Rheumatoid Arthritis? Well, we’ll know more soon… We drove then to the kennel. It was called Red Rock and Hawk had been there before, they liked him there, he’d always been a gentleman there. When we drove in, Hawk looked disconsolate yet resigned. I left him in the car while I went into the office. I was looking for Fred, big, loud, gruffly pleasant Fred, but he didn’t appear. One of his assistants did, a girl named Lynn. Lynn knew Hawk. He’s only going to be here for one night, right? Lynn said. I went out to get him. I put the leash on him, his blue, rather grimy leash, and he jumped out of the car and we walked into the office. Lynn had opened another door that led to a row of cement runs. We stood in that doorway, Hawk and I. All right then, I said. I was bent forward slightly. He turned and looked at me and rose and fell upon me, seizing my breast. Immediately, as they say, there was blood everywhere. He tore at my breast, snarling, I think, I can’t remember if he was snarling. I turned, calling his name, and he turned with me, my breast still in his jaws. He then shifted and seized my left hand, and after an instant or two, my right, which he ground down upon, shifting, getting a better grip, always getting a better grip with his jaws. I was trying to twist his collar with my bleeding left hand but I was trying not to move either. Hawk! I kept calling my darling’s name, Hawk! Then he stopped chewing on my hand and he looked at me coldly. Fred had been summoned by then and had a pole and a noose, the rig that’s used for dangerous dogs, and I heard him say, He’s stopped now. I fled to the car. My blouse was soaked with blood, it was dripping blood. I drove home sobbing. I’ve lost my dog, I’ve lost my Hawk. My mind didn’t say anything. It was all it could do to stay with me as I sobbed and drove, my hands bleeding on the wheel.

I thought he had bitten off my nipple. I thought that when I took off my blouse and bra, the nipple would fall out like a diseased hibiscus bud, like the eraser on a pencil. But he hadn’t bitten it off. My breast was bruised black and there were two deep punctures in it and a long raking scratch across it and that was all. My left hand was bleeding hard from three wounds. My right hand was mauled.

At home I stood in the shower, howling, making deep ugly sounds. I had lost my dog. The Band-Aids we put over my cuts had cartoon characters all over them. We didn’t take our medicine cabinet very seriously. For some reason I had papered it with newspaper pictures of Bob Dole’s hand clutching its pen. I put clean clothes on but the blood seeped around the Band-Aids and stained them too. I put more Goofy and Minnie Band-Aids on and changed my clothes again. I wrapped my hand in a dishtowel. Hawk’s water dish was still in the kitchen, his toys were scattered around. I wanted to drive into the city and keep my appointment with the doctor, he could look at my hand. It seemed only logical. I just wanted to get in the car and drive away from home. I wouldn’t let my husband drive. We talked about what happened as being unbelievable. We hadn’t yet started talking about it as being a tragedy. I’ll never see him again, I’ve lost my dog, I said. Let’s not talk about that now, my husband said. As we approached the city I tried to compose myself for the doctor. Then I was standing on the street outside his office which was on East Eighty-fifth Street trying to compose myself. I looked dishevelled, my clothes were stained, I was wearing high-top sneakers. Some people turned as they were walking by and made a point of staring at me.

He was a cheerful doctor. He put my hand in a pan of inky red sterilizing solution. He wanted to talk about my malady, the symptoms of my malady, but he was in fact thinking about the hand. He went out of the office for a while and when he came back he said, I’ve made an appointment for you to see an orthopaedic surgeon. This doctor was on East Seventy-third Street. You really have to do something about this hand, the first doctor said.

The surgeon was of the type Thomas Mann was always writing about, a doctor out of The Magic Mountain, someone whom science had cooled and hardened. Still, he seemed to take a bit of pleasure in imagining the referring doctor’s discomfort at my messy wounds. People are usually pretty well cleaned up by the time Gary sees them, he said. He took X-rays and looked at them and said, I will be back in a moment to talk with you about your hand. I sat on the examining table and swung my feet back and forth. One of my sneakers was blue and the other one green. It was a little carefree gesture I had adopted for myself some time ago. I felt foolish and dirty. I felt that I must not appear to be very bright. The doctor returned and asked when the dog had bitten me and frowned when I told him it had been six hours ago. He said, This is very serious, you must have surgery on this hand today. I can’t do it here, it must be done under absolutely sterile conditions at the hospital. The bone could become infected and bone infections are very difficult to clear up. I’ve reserved a bed in the hospital for you and arranged for another surgeon to perform the operation. I said, Oh, but… He said, The surgery must be done today. He repeated this, with beats between the words. He was stern and forbidding and, I thought, pessimistic. Good luck, he said.

The surgeon at Lennox Hill Hospital was a young good-looking Chinese man. He spoke elegantly and had a wonderful smile. He said, The bone is fractured badly in several places and the tendon is torn. Because it was caused by a dog’s bite, the situation is actually life threatening. Oh, surely… I began. No, he said, it’s very serious, indeed, life threatening, I assure you. He smiled.

I lay in a bed in the hospital for a few hours and at one in the morning the hand was operated on and apparently it went well enough. Long pins held everything together. You will have some loss of function in your hand but it won’t be too bad, the doctor said, presenting his wonderful smile. I used to kiss Hawk’s nose and put my hands in his jaws in play. People in the hospital wanted to talk about my dog biting me. That’s unusual, isn’t it, they said, or, that’s strange isn’t it, or, I thought that breed was exceptionally loyal. One nurse asked me if I had been cruel to him.

My hand would not be the same. It would never be strong and it would never again stroke Hawk’s black coat.

When I was home again, I washed Hawk’s dishes and put them in the cupboard. I gathered up all his toys and put them away too. I busied myself thinking I would bury all his things. Meanwhile he waited at the kennel for me to come and get him, like I always had. I was taking Vicadon for the pain and an antibiotic. In a week I would begin taking another antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory drug for my malady. I lay about, feeling the pain saunter and ping through me. My arms felt like flimsy sacks holding loose sticks. If the sticks touched one another, there would be pain. I went back to listening to Glenn Gould and reading about Glenn Gould which is what I had been doing when Hawk and I were last together. I played Glenn Gould over and over. Glenn never wanted to think about what his hands and fingers were doing but as he grew older he became obsessed with analysing their movements. He felt that if he performed with a blank face, he would lose his control of the piano. Frowning and grimacing gave him better control of his hands. My mind said You would not be able to defend or explain Glenn Gould to anyone who didn’t care for him.

Hawk had to remain in the kennel for fifteen days for observation, it was the law. It was the same number of days we had spent so happily on Nantucket. My husband spoke to Fred. You should talk to Fred, he said. When I called, I got Lynn. She spoke to me in a sort of light-hearted way.

She seemed grateful that I had held on to Hawk during the attack. I was too confused by this comment to reply to it. She said, After you left he attacked the noose but then he calmed down in the cage after we washed the blood off of him. He ate some food. Some dogs get a taste for biting, she said, after they start to bite. Everything she said was wrong.

Finally, she said, He seems to be in conflict. The word seemed to reassure her, it gave her confidence. I couldn’t understand a thing she was saying. I wanted someone to tell me why my beloved dog had attacked me so savagely and how I could save both of us. He’s just in a lot of conflict now, the girl said. Maybe he had some separation anxiety. He seemed all right for a while after we washed the blood off him, I don’t know what to tell you.

Finally, Fred got on the line. He’s just not the same dog, Fred said. I know that dog, this isn’t him. When I had the noose on him he was attacking the pole and looking right at me. There was no fear in his eyes, there was nothing in his eyes. I’m no doctor, Fred said, but I think it’s a brain tumour. I think something just kicked on or clicked off in him and you’ll never know when it will happen again.

I said, He was a perfectly healthy, happy, loving dog.

This isn’t your dog here now, Fred said.

I couldn’t bear to call Fred every day. I called him every other day.

He has good days and bad days, Fred said. Sometimes you can walk right up to the cage and he just looks at you or he doesn’t even bother to look at you. Other times he flings himself at the chain link, attacking it, trying to get at you. Some days he’s a monster.

I thought of Hawk’s patience, of his happiness, of his dear, grave face. Sometimes, when he slept, he would whimper and his legs would move as though he were walking quickly in a dream. What do you think he’s dreaming about, I would ask my husband. Then I would call his name, Hawk, Hawk, it’s all right, and he would open one startled eye and look at me and sigh, and then he would be calm again. I couldn’t bear the thought of him waiting in the kennel for me to pick him up. I was not going to pick him up. I would have him put down, put to sleep, euthanized, destroyed. My love would be murdered. I would murder my love.

The days dragged on. Fred said, He’s unreliable. I have no doubt that if you told him to do something he didn’t want to do, he could attack you. Anything could set him off, he could turn on anybody. If you slipped and fell, if you were in a helpless position, he could kill you, I have no doubt of it. That’s a tough dog. Fred fancied German shepherds and had several of his own whom he exhibited in shows. He’s not the same dog any more, Fred said.

I did not really believe this, that he was not the same dog. I did not think that he had a brain tumour. I thought that something unspeakable and impossible and calamitous had happened to Hawk and me. My husband said, You have to remember him the way he was, if you just dwell on this, if this is all you remember from all the wonderful times you had with him, then shame on you. My husband said, I love him too, I miss him, but I’m not going to mention him every time I think of him. You can talk about him all you want and I’ll talk with you, but I’m not going to bring him up again, it makes you too upset.

Upset? I said.

On the fifteenth day, Fred would put a soporific in Hawk’s food and then the vet would arrive and give him a lethal injection. His brain would die and his heart would follow. It would take ten seconds. So often I had sat with Hawk while he ate. He would eat for a while and then pick up a toy and walk around the room with it and then eat some more. Oh, that’s so good, I said to him while he ate. Isn’t that good? Oh, it’s delicious…

Fred said, I know this is difficult. If he had been run over by a truck, it would be a different matter, you would grieve for him. This is a harder grief.

If I talked about something else at home or if I ate something or if I had a Martini again, if I took the time to make a Martini rather than just slosh some gin in a glass, my husband said–you seem a little better.

I tried to imagine that Hawk was attempting to reach me teleneurally during these days. I went to all his places, for they were my places too, and tried to listen but nothing was coming through. I didn’t expect his apologies of course. For my part I forgave him, but I was going to have him murdered too. We had loved one another and we would never meet again. He never came to me in dreams. I was granted nothing, not the smallest sign.

We had to go to the vet to sign the paper authorizing euthanization. The vet’s name was Dr Turco. There had been Dr Franks and Dr Crane and Dr Yang and Dr Iorbar in my life in the last days and now there was Dr Turco. In the parking lot there was a young man with a white pit bull in the back of his pick-up truck. He was fumbling with the dog’s leash somewhat and it was taking me a while to get out of our car with my hand in the cast and my aching, crippling malady, my mysterious malady, whatever the hell it was. I passed the dog, sturdy and panting, cute in his ugliness, white and pink with dashes of black about him, a dog with his own charms. Hi there, I said to the dog. The young man seemed unfriendly, he did not seem as nice as his dog. They followed my husband and myself into the vet’s waiting room, the dog sliding and scrambling across the waxed floor, his nails clicking.

My mind said The vet may have an explanation for what happened, an answer. Perhaps some anecdotes at the very least will bring you peace. Dr Turco said, Fred tells me that Hawk has become quite dangerous.

I said, It was an aberration, a moment’s madness seized him. Could it be a brain tumour?

The vet paused. It’s possible… he said, indicating that it wasn’t very likely. He said, So sad. My sympathy and respect for your decision.

It’s unusual, isn’t it? I asked, for a dog to attack his owner?

It’s quite unusual, the vet said. I’ve never known a dog to attack its owner. Excuse me for just one moment.

He left the room. My God, I said to my husband, did you hear that! He didn’t say that, my husband said in anguish. He did! He just did! I said. I’ll ask him when he comes back, my husband said.

I’ve never known personally of it happening, the vet said, in the course of my practice. I’m sure it’s probably happened. I’m so sorry.

I signed the paper with my left hand. My signature looked totally unfamiliar to me. Above it, printed by some other hand, was Hawk’s name and breed and age and weight. As we returned to the parking lot the young man we had seen with the pit bull was coming back to his truck from the rear of the vet’s office. He was cradling a black garbage bag in his arms, his lips pressed to it. He placed it in the back of the pick-up, got into the cab and sat there for a moment. Then he rubbed his eyes and drove away.

On the sixteenth day, my husband went to the kennel to pay for Hawk’s residency there and to pick up his leash. Then he went to the vet and paid for the euthanization, for the cremation that hadn’t happened yet. He brought home Hawk’s lavender collar from the vet with his tags on it and the St Francis protect us medal. I said, That’s not Hawk’s leash. I wanted to bury Hawk’s leash with his ashes and his toys but I wanted to keep his collar with all the photographs I had of him. That’s his leash, my husband said. They bleached it to get the blood out.

Silver Trails is a pet motel but it also has a crematorium and a cemetery where the pictures of beloved pets, made weatherproof in a silvering process, are mounted on a curved tile wall. The wall was supposed to be capable of withstanding freezing temperatures but it has not and some of the tiles are cracked. All the dogs shown have been ‘good’ and ‘faithful’. The wall is in a fragrant pine grove and on the pathway to it there is a plaque which the owners of Silver Trails are very pleased with. It says if christ had had a little dog it would have followed him to the cross. There is no devotion, it is known, like a dog’s devotion. Dogs excel in love.

Hawk had been taken from Red Rock to the vet’s but it would be several more days before he was brought to Silver Trails. Actually, only living dogs come to the place so named. Dead dogs come to Trail’s End.

I was waiting for someone to call me and say, Your animal will be ready after four, which, when the day arrived, is what they would say. Hawk still did not come to me in dreams. I dreamed instead about worrying that I had not told my mother. She would feel so badly about Hawk. Surely I must have told her, but I had forgotten if indeed I had. I wasn’t sure. Awake, everywhere I looked, I thought Hawk should be there. He should be here with me. How strange it all is, how wrong, that he is not here. My mind said He wants to come back, he wants to come back to his home and be with you but he can’t because you killed him, you had him killed… My body was my malady, my tedious non-life-threatening banal malady, but my mind was like Job’s wife whose only advice to him was to curse God and die. I felt that I wanted to die.

I was utterly unhappy and when, according to Kierkegaard, one becomes utterly unhappy and realizes the absolute woefulness of life, when one can say and mean it, life for me has no value, that is when one can make a bid for Christianity, that is when one can begin. One must become crucified to a paradox. One must give up reason.

I listened to Kathleen Ferrier sing from Orfeo ed Euridice in her unearthly contralto.

What is life to me without thee?
What is left if thou art dead?
What is life, life without thee?
What is life without my Love?

In the myth of the great musician, Orpheus played music that was so exquisite that not only his fellow mortals but even the wild beasts were soothed and comforted by it. When his Eurydice died, he sang his grief for her to all who breathed the upper air but he was not able to call her back so he decided to seek her among the dead. It ended badly, of course, though not typically so.

The lovely Kathleen died when she was forty-one years old. Glenn died when he was fifty-one. My mind said You haven’t done much with your life, think of what those two could have done if they had lived on, you couldn’t even keep your own pet from tearing you apart, or what do they call them now, pet, companion animal…

There was no consolation. Hawk had been my consolation.

When the phone rang, a woman’s voice said, Your animal will be ready after four. I arrived at Silver Trails and I was directed to a building with a not unsubtle smokestack. I was told to speak with Michael. But Michael was not there. Michael? I called. I could hear a lawnmower in the distance and over the sounds of the lawnmower were the sounds of the live dogs barking.

I walked into the building which had two rooms, then a larger room, open like a garage. There was a stubby tunnel-like object there, the crematorium oven. There were twenty filled black garbage bags secured with twine on a table and a large sleek golden dog lying free. He was a big dog, lying with his face away from me. He looked fit and not old. One of his ears was folded back on itself in a soft, sad way. I walked outside and just stood there. I didn’t know what to do with myself any more. Eventually the lawnmower grew closer with the boy named Michael on it. I’ve come for my dog’s remains, I said. His name is Hawk. The boy led me into the building but he closed the door to the big room. He drew back a curtain that ran along a wall and there were dozens of small black shopping bags on the shelves, the size bag that might contain something lovely, special from a boutique. There was a label on each bag that said trail’s end and it had the name of a dog and then the owner’s name. Inside the bag was a blue-and-white tin with a vaguely Oriental motif of blue swallow-like birds flying. The boy and I searched the shelves for the proper bag. Here he is, I said. The boy pointed to another bag. There’s another Hawk, he said. He had a strange, half-smiling grimace. There was grass in his hair and grass stuck to his T-shirt. This is my Hawk, I said, there’s my name too. I gestured at the shelves. So many! I said. There’s so many!

Oh sometimes all four shelves are full, the boy said.

At home, I sat on the porch and with great difficulty pried open the lid of the tin with its foolish scene. I used a knife around it. There was cotton on the top and beneath it was a clear bag of ground bones. Hawk’s ashes weighed more than those of my mother or my father. We all end up alone, don’t we, honey, I said.

And then, in time, my little dream.

Hawk and I are walking among a crowd in near darkness. I am a little concerned for him because I want him to be good. He can hardly move among the people in the crowd but he pays them no attention. He is close to me, he is calm, utterly familiar, he is my handsome boy, my good boy, my love. Then, of course, I realize that these are the dead and we are both newly among them.

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