Sixty-five degrees, sunny, a few clouds; it is a perfect day to call one's own. I leave work a few hours early so as to have the house to myself for a bit. I take a long, hot, shower with sandalwood soap and shave myself as clean as the day I was born. Point of fact: it is the day I was born. In my room, a wide swath of sunlight pours through my window, illuminating my eastern wall. If I knew what sort of thing to worship, I should like to have an altar there.
I heard on the radio that today is the official peak of the famous Japanese cherry blossoms around the DC tidal basin, but I have not been to see them yet. I went last year and the crowd was too big to really appreciate the flowers. Besides, there are more than a few cherry trees right here in Clarendon and they are beautiful to see. Not to mention the scraggly old pear tree in the backyard, which must have bloomed overnight. I have the windows open and the birds are in full song.
When I first mention this project to you, you don't like the idea at all. You say it makes you feel as if one of us is about to die. "You never know," I say, which is so like me. Putting aside needless worry keeps you cheerful and focused, which I have always envied a great deal. However, this project isn't about death or aging, I explain. Wait and see, I say. This will be a thing that takes time, if it takes at all.
To which you say, "Fine. But why do you have to write the letters to me?" And I laugh and answer, "Who else could I write?"
Just now as I write that out, that question comes back to me like an echo from a very deep well, much deeper and more forlorn than the original sound. In a certain light, that is a lonesome question. Who else could I write?
Well, maybe that's what I'm going to discover. We shall see.