I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Three Months

I took Simon and Veronica to Laura's grave today. It was a brief visit; very hot, not a lot of time spent sitting around in contemplation. We placed some flowers Laura planted by the grave, and some sea shells we'd collected during our trip to Atlantic Beach. We buried a small black polished stone Veronica had found.

I'm sad that I didn't find any beach glass during the trip to Atlantic Beach. In previous years, Laura and I have walked up and down the shore and collected bits of smooth, sea buffed glass shards. Most are brown, coming from beer bottles, some are clear, some green, and the real treasures are blue. This year, though, despite my best efforts, I couldn't find a single bit of it. There weren't many shells either. The sea was very calm all week, which probably meant not much stuff was getting washed up. Our one trip to Shackleford Banks, an island where we normally find all kinds of good shells and glass, was cut short by a bad storm, complete with waterspout. I feel almost as if I let Laura down, not finding any glass. Maybe if I'd taken the long walk I kept planning, something might have turned up. I had this fantasy of walking all the way to the end of the island, but it never panned out. Laura and I took the long beach walk once, in the dark. We had planned to find a spot to stop and smooch... unfortunately, the sand was crawling with some sort of little biting insect that encouraged us to keep moving. So, this wasn't the first trip where the dream and the actual events didn't mesh up.

Three months out from Laura's death, I find it is possible to go a whole day without thinking about her, but, only barely. I'm no longer reflexively judging restaurants by whether or not they would please her. And, her brother took her car a few weeks ago to sell, so I'm no driving up to the house and seeing her car and thinking, "Oh, Laura's home," the way I did morning after morning in May and June. Whenever I go upstairs, it's harder to remember how much it was the backdrop of my daily life for the last couple of years. I go five, six, seven days at a time without looking inside. It seems like a stranger's house, almost. I feel like I'm invading someone's privacy when I go in.

Next weekend, Laura's family is having a big yard sale to try to reduce the big pile of her stuff that's still lingering. It's amazing what one accumulates over the years. Little by little, her stuff is disappearing. It's a long, slow, fade.

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