My footsteps echo in the nearly empty foyer. I think this must be a dream. It just doesn’t seem real. From the phone call a half hour ago, to the fire trucks and sirens I hear coming down the road. I tell myself, “No, no. This can’t be my life.” They tell you the first step to accepting loss or grief is denial. “God I am in denial.” I smell smoke… but the first thing that catches my eye is all the paper scattered on the ground, illuminated by the sunlight pouring in the open windows. The cool breeze from the windows, feeding the smoke and fire wherever it is. I am oblivious to all of that.
All I see are the papers. All I see are pictures. No furniture. Just memories. Shattered memories. Like fragmented glass. The open window blowing these pieces around. Now I see a trash can. Several large folders have been set ablaze, feeding the flames, the smoke. I grab a pot from the stove. It has water in it. The slob must have set it out to soak after last night’s dinner. I pour it over the folders. The ink from the paper begins to bleed through the folders. Just like my heart. Then I saw it. The black book, I turn the first page, and I begin to cry. This was my fucking life. Where did I go wrong? How did we get here? It was not always this way….