The Groundskeeper Writes His Memoirs

Emotions are tricksome things, and so they bind and snarl all my words, and all my stories, and all my true stories.

But it is not a lump of stone that I am, nor yet a block of unfeeling wood, nor an unremembering plain, and so the words that would carry my convictions and my spleen and my affection curl within me like heavy peat-smoke, and drift wispish from my ears, or my stuttering tongue, or the vacuous corners of my eyes, or from underneath the fingernails of these my hands. And that smoke is homely and familiar and circumambient, and tattered soon by the living.

Though alone I am now, I bear you in my hands, you little memories, my dancing friends, and wordless the brighter, long-regretted awkwardness burnished dearly smooth by long loving. I see you through the unsolid flesh that straggles down the stairs in the morning, that listens from high above the earth to birdsong, that sleeps and dreams and poses. I write these things and they are all join, all seam, all craft, and patternless, and ugly.

But to you I write this, in my despite, and will dry the ink upon the sill, and curl the paper, and bottle it tightly, and cast it for luck into the sea when the tide is running out. Perhaps it will find you, in the houses and the hills where you gather, and there you may open it, and read it, and look backward, and feel my regard from this little beach you have forsaken.