Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Saturday night went with Mark to help him clear stuff out of his apartment after the fire. Mark’s roommate’s room looked like a marshmallow that had fallen into a bonfire. Nothing he owned survived. Mark was luckier. His stuff was smoke-stained and there was some water damage, but the paintings his dad did came through, as did Mark’s journals. It was pretty sad going through his bookshelf. Looking at the poetry section, Mark kept saying “I know all these people,” almost marveling. Heavy black soot covered the spines. The esoteric titles were in bad shape, the collection of a lifetime. He seemed in denial at times trying to save kitchen spices that were decades old, throwing charcoal-smelling clothes into trashbags for the storage unit – and at other times he was accepting, saying to himself “Fuck it...it doesn’t matter.”

Mostly he seemed appreciative of the help he’d received, and ready to move on.

If I ever get burned out and I take it with ten-percent of Mark’s grace, I’ll be happy.

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