– Epilogue –
that I was cagey or reserved, rather the life was just not that interesting, while – in the bigger picture, in a world of manifest cruelty and inequity to which I no longer want to belong – I’ve been of negligible real use, just spit in the wind. What the deaths of so many loved-ones taught me, however, is that ‘my own life’ was never really my own at all; rather, it was only ever a fabric of which, if I am the weft, then my loved-ones are the warp. And this, when a woven fabric requires both: weft and warp. I realized, I hope not too belatedly, that to talk of myself I would necessarily be talking of others – my others. I realized – to vary the metaphor – now that so many significant actors in my life’s play had left the stage, one by one, now that the cast had diminished, the technical crew too, that the empty stage invites a new play – light, story, music, an attraction, a final curtain.
Here in my living room in New York, the black and metallic Kettle rowing machine sprawls adjacent to my windows. It’s ever-ready; makes a kind of swishing noise when the oars are pulled, which they are occasionally. Viewable from these windows (in front of which I’ve walked back and forth so many, many times), is my small patch in the communal garden across 25th Street where tender cherry tomatoes I’ve planted have begun to grow beside Lily’s rose bush, now thriving. The watermelon-pink wild roses give off their familiar, evocative scent – past, present, future – always the same perfume.
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