On January 22, I drove back from Washington, D.C. The day before, I’d been one of the 500,000 that filled out Independence Avenue, one of the specks in those awe-inspiring aerial shots that plastered the news. I’d been cold and hungry and dehydrated and I had not felt any of that discomfort until I sat down for dinner later that night and nearly wept at the sensation of sinking into a seat.
It never ceased to amaze him when grown women, women with husbands and children, acted like they were vestal virgins. His own sisters pulled that one on him all the time, or at least they had when they were still actually treating him like a human being, before he’d had to sell his house and business in Cape Cod and move in with friends.
In the temple’s farthest corner
an olive tree stands,
silver-green leaves like a shawl,
its trunk braided
down into the ancient earth:
You are witnessed by it.
“Virginia Woolf’s amazing essay ‘On Being Ill’—where she interrogates literature’s lack of focus on illness, the collective obsession with the drama of romance over the drama of often inseparable physical and mental ailments—has been a jumping off point. So, I’m writing though some of my own experiences via Woolf and also some other artists and writers.”
There was one last buzz, then Greene pulled himself reluctantly up off the sofa. As I watched him cross the living room, the part of my mind still working in slow motion pictured the door opening, the gunmen entering and shooting Greene (professionals, with silencers), then noticing me and shooting me too, with some surprise but with no regret. I thought of the headlines the next day: STRANGE WOMAN MURDERED WITH FAMOUS AUTHOR IN RIVIERA APARTMENT.