Remembrance is not a Day [Flash Fiction]

In memory alive or in memory dead. What is that I would like to know? I do not have to say it to you, that I know keeping him alive as I do day in and day out is far and above what marking the date on the calendar proves or disproves. This is a fact I assert most pronouncedly: I did think of him that day as I do and have done every day since the day he died, a date whose numerals I play when buying Mega Millions or Powerball tickets. I do not think of his dying except as but one of many images of my dad when recollecting him. The calendar is not part of the remembrance; it is not necessarily so that I must mark the date every year to appropriately remember him, pay homage to him, pay my respects to my Dad. I wish I could convince you otherwise, if in fact you disagree with me, but then that wish is just what it is and remains where it belongs, in the realm of wishing. All wishing is a past tense assertion for a present time lack, and in the end remains as useless as wishing for water from the moon.

Remembering happens when it happens–recollecting is something that helps remembering or is the result and thus the after effect of having remembered. That I did recall at all is what matters. The pedantry of counting days or of marking them is not where my heart beats for my father. Notions of time, of infinity and of eternity must be handled appropriately and not within the narrow constraints of contemporary semi-literacy that is passing for literate enough. I do not watch calendars or clocks–I pay more attention to the sun, the moon and constellations passing across the night sky in what I like to call the con-stellar clock. Keeping my father alive in memory is not the same as keeping his death or dying or having died alive, none of these latter variations on the theme of being dead the same as the former, keeping the memories of his living alive. He does live in me as he does still talk to me. I hear his voice as I hear mine now as I write. I really do not need anyone around me telling me what and where and when or how I should remember.

I was working that day–the anniversary. I do not recall what else had transpired. I think perhaps I had gotten sushi take-out to bring home. One place we take-out from is on the way home from one site I teach at in the evening. I do not know what this says, and I am not asking this because I need to ask it, nor am I asking this question because I must know the answer. I have more in the way of a response than can be dreamed of by most people’s philosophy–more, that is, in the matter of intellectual and emotional weight or the weight of the matter of what I think, say and know. The philosophy of doubt has not overtaken me as it has subsumed so many of us who imagine we are thinking when what we are actually doing is randomly passing images or words-not even sentences or paragraphs–in the mind. No, doubt has not become the highest wisdom in me, and the daily affairs of living do take precedence over remembrance. How is that not understood–I understand it. But I do not understand throwing out Christmas cards the day one receives them. I have Christmas cards from I cannot say how long ago. Maybe I am full of shit and have a great capacity to rationalize my actions. I do not care to find out or figure out if this is true or not.

The anniversary of my father’s death passed recently without anyone in my home realizing it until nearly a week after. I am still unsure what this proves. I am not so sure that ethics are not anything but situational.

It was I who noticed we had missed it, but I did not say anything to anyone in my home. Our kid was home from college. It was among the last days he was home before he would return to school for the spring semester. I did not say anything to him. I have not since.

The needs of the living have always taken precedence over the mandates of attention to the dead. I keep photos of him framed on my desk. I say to him that I miss him when I look to his photos. I sometimes lift one and kiss it, his image. What does this mean, I am sure I do not know and cannot know.

I had a dream where in the dream I had had dream and said as much . . . I had a dream last night of Luis Bunel’s scorpions. I also had a dream where in the dream a beautiful statue had come to life in the Greek and Roman galleries at the Met. This living woman formerly a statue and I then fucked in the galleries, standing up, me holding her with her legs wrapped around the small of my back, and it was good as I recall from the dream more than good, for her as well as for me, for me more so because it was so for her, and the memory this morning of the sex in the dream was almost as satisfying in recollection as the recollection of sex I have actually had that was good, more than good, of course having to be so for her if so for me. I did wonder for a time what this could mean to me, for me, for you, for anyone herein reading this page, this entry, this paragraph inserted here at the close of what you–I do not know what you could assume or would or might or will. It does not matter though for the purposes of what has been accomplished–everything written is one or another kind of accomplishment. But in the dreamI had where I was remembering a dream I had had, I see the statues in the museum all lying dead, but not as dead people they would be lying as if they had all of them come to life, but as statues, only dead statues, statues sculpted of the dead, the dead as the subject of sculpture, itself a paradox? Or is it a conundrum because we have to speak about the living stone if we want to speak in traditional conventions about sculpture, so then what was conveyed in the dream inside the dream if it were successful as traditional sculpture was a series of living stones conveying thus a living death, death as a subject come to life in stone.


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