They had changed enormously in the time I’d been gone. They’d endured an enormous loss without me. They had mourned without me. They had come together to heal - memorials, tributes, fundraisers, vigils, community service drives - all without me.
I could be nude beneath the fog’s fleece. I’m invisible as God, who wraps his modest shawl around Scarborough. The Yorkshire coast is blind. The ships are blind; they can’t see their own masts. Their bones might soon wash up in a spray of spume...
She read her reviews and her recipes out from under her wig of childlike hair, red and terribly cut. All of her, bony elbows and satin skin, beneath those thin red wisps that framed not her face, but the teenage figure of a boy. Somehow, she almost made skin that looked to bruise easy seem sexual. Almost. She was terrible. She was what is left after and changed. Rotting.
There were several theories on how the Waterheads got that way. The theories I remember, or believe I remember, ranged far and wide. The Waterheads were inbred, and they came from Arkansas or somewhere else people thought of as having a lot of inbreds. Or maybe they had been too close to a nuclear test.
I am painting makeup on the face of my confusion. My scribbling connects me to something. The pen is in my hand. The paper lies still beneath its nib. It will always say the same things on these pages. These are the things I’m sure of.
Inside, caribou burgers sizzled on an open grill, but I didn’t eat meat then. Alaska Amber was on tap, which was good because I hadn’t learned I liked whiskey yet. It was someone’s birthday. And late spring. Nearing the days that wouldn’t end, when the difference between yesterday and tomorrow would become a blurry, pink line.