The body is outwardly complacent but inherently restless. It needs to constantly make new memories. The task of the year: processes of reconstruction. Memory encoding. Without scars it feels impossible to tell what happened, and what did not.
We are 30 and we are too young to think of death but death surrounds us. It shows its face in the mother who died too young, of cancer, that stirred suddenly and briefly left everyone scrambling to the death bed before it was too late. It’s sending premonitions from the aunt who drags on through radiation, and chemotherapy, and surgery, and the cancer keeps metastasizing, which is medical jargon for spreading, which is a euphemism for slowly or not so slowly killing her. Death is in the mask of the friend in the car-hits-bike type of accident, who fell on his head and the head broke, the brain broke, everything broke. Death drained the grandmother of all color in her cheeks, of all elasticity in her flesh.
You are lucky, we tell ourselves (because we know), that death has not been next to you from the moment you were born. It has not visited you as a child, nor your child, not you in childbirth, you have your sister close by and death can’t reach her yet.
But now this is the thirties and death has grown older with us: we are getting there. Death sends postcards from the future, saying: these are the letters you can still write, these are the men you can still kiss, here is an estimate of the books you’ll be able to read in your time. This the number of countries to visit if you work this amount of hours for this average salary. Don’t get greedy, now. Tattoo memories into your cells to hold on to something.
It’s snowing, she curses, there are river waters flooding the embankments. Once she would have simply called this winter, now it is at once an existential crisis.