I can't tell you how many times I've read the obituary.
I keep wanting it to tell me more, as if repeated readings
could wear away the surface and reveal answers to all the
questions lurking in my mind. The newsletter editor must
have reprinted it verbatim out of the local paper. It
mentions her family, for instance, but not her lovers. Who
knows if she had anyone at the end? I had lost track of her
these last ten years.
It was Lou who taught me how to check wordspacing in a
galley proof. You hold it upside down and blur your eyes a
little. If you can't tell where one word begins and the next
ends, the type is too tight. If the spacing between words is
really obvious, the type is too loose. If you can just
barely make out the separations between words when you look
at it that way, it's just right.
Given that we were the only dykes working in that shop, we
found plenty of excuses to talk. She would tell me the same
things over and over, never remembering that I'd heard them
before. It bothered me that our conversations were so
ephemeral in her mind. I always intended to ask her why she
forgot; each time it happened it made me angry a little, but
I kept quiet and didn't bring it up. And in the better moments
it didn't seem important so I let it slide.
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