...Literary lists: Proof of our existence
My father died three years ago. I came across a grocery list he had written, in the pocket of an old jacket of his that I like to wear. I was struck by grief. It was not only the peculiarities of his handwriting, the reminder of the particular details of a life that was now, definitively, over. It was also the possibly thwarted intentionality embodied by that list. Had it been fulfilled? Had those items been purchased, eaten and enjoyed? There were suddenly a dozen other lists for me to envision, a hundred items proliferating through my imagination, lurking in the pockets of other pieces of clothing. My father's smell, the vivid sense of his being, returned to me in that single piece of paper.