Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff



Instead, Mathilde took the broken painting, restretched it, framed it, hung it behind the brass Buddha. It was a blue abstract and reminded Lotto of the moment every morning before dawn, a misty dim world between worlds.

All I want to do is go to Canada.

I also want to figure out how to see sunsets on the inside of my eyelids and invent shoes that give little massages with every step. But mostly, I want to go to Canada to see a friend get married.

This friend – my first memory of her is as a two-year-old running around her yard with a green plastic pool. Occasionally, she’d fall down and disappear under the pool. A few seconds of stillness, then she’d hop up and take off, the green plastic pool floating behind her.

Memories are not trustworthy and maybe this never happened.

But I definitely remember her eating invisible noodles late at night.

And I remember her coming over, again late at night, to fetch me to see her mother’s night-blooming cereus.

And I remember her at the barn, her tongue usually sticking out in concentration. I remember her high-pitched, always-present voice.

And now she’s getting married. In Canada, where she lives. And I have to get passport photos, print a passport renewal form, fill out said form, mail said form, find flights, click purchase, arrange for Friday afternoon childcare. And it’s all. just. too. much.

What I really need is a crowdfunding effort. Not for the money, but for the energy involved. Because I don’t have it.

I used to be fun and sometimes spontaneous and even experiential. Now, I’m not.

I saw a quote today, I think by Anne Lamott, about the tragedy of coming to the end of a life lived as one “should.” The missed chance for a creative adventure because of what other people think. And I think that I’m in danger of that. Maybe not that exactly, but in danger of missing opportunities because they require more energy and attention than, say, staying home and watching Friends reruns.

I picked up T from a boy scout meeting tonight at dusk and Phil Collins’s song In the Air came on the radio. I let T turn it way loud and we drove off into the sunset. I looked over and he seemed caught up in the moment, held rapt by dramatic lyrics paired with the open windows of a speeding car, and I wished I could be him for a few minutes. He’s a freshly minted teenager and, by definition, open to all of the experiences the world has to offer.

The meteors are tonight. We’ve watched these in the past. I remember watching while pregnant, watching with babies sleeping in my arms, watching with wide-awake ten-year-olds. This year? Might not watch. Getting up in the teeny tiny hours is hard. Even harder is getting up again three hours later. And I know, I know, memory building! Bonding! Someday we’ll all be dead!

But also, Canada. And if I get too little sleep tonight, printing out the passport renewal form is only going to fall further down on the list of must-remembers.

I can feel it. Coming in the air tonight. So hold on. Hold on.

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