Friday, January 23, 2009

Why'd You Have to Go?

I work with a bunch of dead peoples' stuff. I historicize their papers and documents, and sanitize the lives and various experiences of all these people into a little Word document that is then made available on the internet.

Today, I became fundamentally sad when a lady that I was working with...well, I was working on organizing her journals and letters and stuff... when she died.

I went home because I was so sad about it- I couldn't go on working.
I just couldn't do it.

It funny because I was thinking to myself, this woman is so boring. She spent years and years crocheting a continuous quilt that I'm pretty sure wrapped around her house five times and watched tv. She talked about 'A Star is Born' a lot.
That was so sad.
In her journal, the last twelve years of her life, she wrote the same thing every single day. 'I did the work.'
Then at the last week or two before she stopped writing, she changed that to 'Elaine did the work.'
The last entry read 'Elaine did the work and went to the store for me today. I feel awful, just layed around.'
I don't know why it made me so sad- I hated her and how boring and how mundane and how very very meticulous she was about everything.

I felt like crying the whole way home.

I think I realized something about the profound brevity of life, and about the supposed fullness that makes it what it is- it's the human predicament, I guess- to be aware that we will one day be different, and that we will one day die. One day I will not do the work, and that I will one day feel awful and just lay around.

It is sad to me.


Jendar said...

im sad too.

Rachel. said...

Me too. And I wonder what the work was. Also, if you did cry, and did stay at work, John would have taken you to his office and given you chocolate. I know this from personal experience.