Monday, November 15, 2010

warning: self-indulgence ahead

i know what you're thinking. you're like,"okay so there's this long stretch of posts about shopping and music videos and kitties, and now she's all like DEATH AND DYING morbid." it does seem a little bipolar, i know. but since i have an audience of two (including myself), i'm not that concerned about being consistent. one day kittens, the next major life experience. yeah. so when i was in alabama i was on my way to my friend elizabeth's when i thought i should visit all the stewarts who reside at highland cemetery. (is that even what it's called, m.d.?) there's a whole slew of stewarts waiting for me there, all of whose tombstones were photographed because i am my (genealogist) grandaddy's grandaughter. most important though is this guy:

like i said in the previous post, it had been awhile since i had been to anniston, and while i definitely don't believe that everything that's left of my dad is interred here, i always feel a sort of camaraderie when i visit his grave, almost like he'd get a real kick out of it. and at first i thought it seemed a bit wrong to photograph his tombstone, probably in much the same way that my mother second guessed herself when she considered photographing me in the evening light at my father's hospital bed on the ninth floor of rmc. but knowing that she regrets not taking that photograph made me pull out the camera (or the iphone, as it were), because i needed to document the both of us, together, the long shadows of my legs as they fell across the granite. i needed proof that we were together, if only in light and shade. i'm here, i'm here, and i know you'll never leave me.

i've said it before, and i'll say it again. my life is lived in two parts, every day before april 21, 1999, and every day after. what would i trade to see him pull on a fringed suede jacket and mock adam duritz just to get under my skin? what would i give to have him make me listen to in-a-gadda-da-vida on repeat ('just listen, jessica, just LISTEN'), to have him regale me with stories of playing with b.b. king and nearly burning down the house? what would i trade for another handcrafted wooden animal complete with its own correspondence, for another letter claiming he hadn't written this much in years? the answer is always the same, anything at all. take it all.