Well, that was short lived — my excursion into the outside world of someone else’s tragedy. [See here]
A brief respite from my own self-absorbed misery, which, later that night, returned with a vengeance, as though to say, You think you can avoid me that easily, escape from yourself by immersing your morbid mind in someone else’s misery. No way, José (my inner self is not really Spanish, but it likes to assume different identities).
So you’re saying, I belligerently replied, that I will never be free of this burden of grief for my dead wife, not to mention two brothers and a son?
That’s exactly what I’m saying, said my ruthless inner self. Face it, amigo (oh, it’s on a Spanish kick tonight), you are inconsolable.
My immediate impulse was to tell my inner self to go fuck itself, but I poured myself another brandy and thought more upon it.
Okay, I said, summoning up as much conviction as I could, then so be it, inconsolable I shall be.
For the rest of your life, taunted my inner self.
Oh, so sorely tempted was I to tell it to go, well you know what, but I gulped down my brandy and declared, All right already, for the rest of my lousy life.
Wear it well, instructed my inner self, and bear it well, with courage and dignity. Do that for your wife, and the rest of them, but mostly for your wife.
Yes, of course, I pondered more to myself than to my inner self, she would have done that, had our fates been reversed.
Ah, oui, mon ami (what are you French now?!), now you’re catching on.
I think I can do that, I said.
You can do it, my inner self said, and now I’m going to bed — I’ll leave you to finish the brandy.