it’s a mighty thick haze and it’s a pretty thin line

12 07 2007

while we here in my little northern tribe have been reeling from the blows and plan-and-implementing celebrations and starting up the long, slow work of fielding the impossible list of “now what?” questions suddenly on our friend shawn’s table, next door, annabel’s been starting another long–but not so slow, and certainly not so blue–fundamental process of living in the world we’re in: the day after we lost lynette, annabel gave birth to Escher Allen Hine, who has the elfiest little face i’ve ever looked upon.

i’ve been meaning to get over there to hold him since i found out saturday night–which was just a bit busy, although i did stick my head into his room to peer at him just for long enough to catch my breath–that he’d arrived, but there’s been a lot to do, and the weather’s been awful, and then today it was gorgeous and there was breathing room & i had an online invitation, so over i went–annabel and jonas shared popsicles with me, and jonas did gymnastics on the couch, and escher mostly slept and wiggled and slept, and then finally woke up enough to be held for a while. & while he wiggled in my arms, all pink and new and faerie-faced and perfect, jonas told me a story.

peter pan can fly, he told me. and tinkerbell. and there’s a crocodile, and why didn’t he eat up captain hook? turns out, jonas’ grandmother took him just the other day to see peter pan performed, and he loved it and couldn’t talk enough about it once he started himself off. nobody told jonas, or annabel, for that matter, about lynette’s all-pervasive love of tinkerbell. i’ve seen tink on everything for days and days, and heard her name everywhere, but i didn’t expect to hear it from my 3-year-old next-door neighbor in his top-half spiderman, bottom-half thomas-the-train-engine pajamas. sometimes the little things are the ones that sneak in and slice through major arteries when your back is turned, & then again sometimes they’re the ones that make you think just maybe it makes sense to carry on, even if you can’t much lift your chin to do it.

what shawn told us he wanted, when J and i arrived, was not to do any kind of formal funeral thing, because lynette would have hated it; instead, he wanted that scene after the funeral in big fish where everybody’s laughing and telling stories. & she liked the bar where we had trivia on thursday nights–it was the only thing about the university she really appreciated. & so in between and around the other things we spent the week trying to do–an awful lot of them variations on the theme of keeping close by and crying collaboratively and just listening out on the smoking-porch for hours–we orchestrated & the rest of this astoundingly amazing group of people here mostly did the work and pulled the strings and made the calls and cut out lots and lots of paper pictures.

& so we threw her a big-ass party, & invited everybody she knew and everybody shawn knows & everybody she worked with up here, and everybody she loved from far away, and folks drove in from philly and boston and the midwest someplace, & at the Inn we had a slideshow running of a couple hundred digital pictures of her and her friends and the things she loved, & had a soundtrack of all of her favorite music (J made a 13-hour playlist, and it turned out that between venues we actually did run the bash that long) running, and set up an arts-and-crafts table (with tinkerbell stickers) for people to make scrapbook-pieces that we’re going to put together for shawn to keep, and had pictures and (tinkerbell) trinkets and albums on display (with tinkerbell tablecloths) for people to look at and talk about and tell stories from, and a crew of the girls from the olive garden showed up in air-brushed t-shirts that said “we love you lynette” on the back and had tinkerbells drawn on the front, and somebody was wandering around videotaping hellos.

& then we migrated the after-party back to our house, where we’d stationed the cat elsewhere for the night (ta, claire!) so that we could keep the doors open to let the people in and out and the smoke in and the food and beer out into the yard, & people brought heaps of food (we’re still distributing left-overs–the olive garden folks brought enough OG food for the whole party just themselves!) and there was some thoroughly embarrassing dancing going on around here (justin fscking timberlake, y’all?), & the arts-and-crafts table ended up in my bedroom, where somebody’s baby positively doused my bed in sharp green metal glitter, & we had a little singing & a lot of hugging & a lot of drinking & a little guitar-hero on the playstation, & so it ended up being, in shawn’s words, a hell of a send-off.

which, in its own way, of course, is no consolation at all, because nobody wanted to send her anywhere. what we want is to wake up & find out this never happened, so i can teach her the summer stars like i promised on her birthday i was going to, so she can read the book i gave her, go to the concerts this season her best friend had already bought the tickets for, have J up for thanksgiving like she said she would, start another trivia season with equal measures of tanqueray & rabble-rousing, see the results of the baking contest she’d sent off recipes to, & play their home-made radio game with shawn on route to a couple thousand still-pending destinations, just to start the list of things-undone that could go on forever. so, yeah, the being where i needed to last week was immeasurably valuable, and the celebration a success, but holy shit is the sad just getting started.




2 responses

12 07 2007

Sounds like you all did a great job. 🙂
I think that at times like this, having something to plan and clean up after is almost as important as having something to attend. Industry is good for us.

13 07 2007

I’m glad it was a successful send off! It sounds like it was just the perfect thing to do.
I’m hear if you need to talk, to cry, to scream, or just be flirted with to distract you. (always my personal favorite 😉

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