December 12

Dear Will, now I know how people felt when they thought they were possessed by evil spirits. Sometimes this thing comes over me; it’s not fear, not desire — it’s this obscure internal chaos that feels like it’s going to make my chest explode, like it’s strangling my throat! AHHH! AHHH! And then I go running outside through the terrifying midnight landscapes of this season that hates us.

Last night I had to get outside. There’d been a sudden thaw, I’d heard the river had overflowed, burst all its banks, and flooded my dear valley from Pickton on down! I ran out a bit after 11pm. What a horror show, seeing the howling floods coursing down from the cliffs in the moonlight, over fields and meadows and hedges and everything, and the whole valley from end to end turned into a stormy sea roiling in the wind! And then, when the moon came out again and floated above the dark clouds, and the deluge, in its terrifying, glorious reflection, heaved and crashed: a shudder ran through me, and then this pull! Ahh, with open arms I stood before the abyss and breathed out! out! And lost myself in the joy of sending my troubles, my pain, storming down! To crash in like the waves! Oh! — And you couldn’t lift your foot off the ground, and end all this torture! — My time isn’t up yet, I can feel it! Oh, Will! I would have been so happy to give up my humanity to tear the clouds as a stormwind, to wield the waves! Ha! And who knows, maybe one day this prisoner will be set free?

— Ahh, and looking down at a spot where Lotte and I had stretched out under a willow, on a hot walk, — that was flooded too, so much so that I could barely recognize the place! Will! And their gardens, I thought, the area around their house! Our whole arbor must be trashed!, I thought. And a ray of sun from the past shone in, like a dream of plains and skies and loved ones for someone stuck in jail.  I stood! — I’m not beating myself up, I know I’m brave enough to die — I would have — now I’m sitting here like an old woman picking pennies off the ground and begging in the subway, to make her fading, joyless life a second longer and more bearable.