West needs me to write down the Beckett out in my very own handwriting. Extra tears from me. She already had me write out some lyrics to a track of mine that she then had etched on the again of her neck, the place the autumn of her hair obscures them: “Keep on the prepare, the surroundings will change.” The truth that my daughter needs my phrases indelible on her individual fills me with extra deep pleasure than the 4 novels I’ve written, greater than I can say, and makes me consider in eternity. I’ll go on, written on my daughter’s pores and skin. I write for my daughter and my son as a result of I’ve this perception/fantasy that when I’m gone, if my children may pulp my novels, make a sort of mulch of them—a lot as I think about researchers do to spin out the DNA of pulverized historical dinosaur fossils—they may get my DNA. From the pulpy mulch. That my children, in the event that they ran that e book DNA within the lab, may see me there clearly: the footprint, the fingerprint, Dad/David. The mysterious, spiraled math of my coronary heart and soul that hid a part of itself from the sunshine and casually spoken phrases. And perhaps it will free them of one thing. These books are my approach of speaking as soon as I’m useless, of talking reality to the long run.
Pondering of my children and what’s nameable and unnameable between the generations makes me consider my mother and father. It’s humorous how time leapfrogs like that. My mom, Meg, will likely be 91 subsequent month, and my father, Ami, died practically 20 years in the past. Once I was a baby and complained about something—the meals, the climate, the world—my mom would say in a sort of pidgin Gaelic: “It’s proper higher then a steen ahin the lug.” She’s Scottish, an immigrant, from a small fishing village the place lots of their males died within the boats coaxing a life out of the harmful North Sea. This roughly interprets to “It’s quite a bit higher than a stone behind the ear.” What she meant was that no matter I used to be bitching about on eleventh Road in Manhattan within the ’70s was higher than getting hit over the top with a stone again in Scotland. Exhausting to argue with that. I’ve had a bunch of accidents in my life, knocked out enamel and practically misplaced a watch, however I’ve by no means been hit over the top with a rock. So my mother was onto one thing. I nonetheless don’t have any proper to complain. But. She was maintaining my expectations low, which was sound parenting within the twentieth century. None of that “sky’s the restrict” new-age hokum. As darkly humorous as Beckett all the best way.
My dad, a Jew born in Brooklyn to immigrants from Poland and Ukraine, after I would bellyache about college, my life, or how I wanted some particular merchandise to make all of it higher—a brand new baseball glove, say—would mutter, “You want that like a moose wants a hat rack.” (This story makes me appear as if I did nothing however complain as a baby, and I don’t consider that’s true, however it’s doable; you may ask my brother.) I didn’t, on the time, know what a hat rack was, and also you don’t see them round a lot anymore, however I believe now he additionally meant to maintain my expectations low. Brooklyn Jew and Scottish Lutheran, my father and mom had been in sync on this, maybe one of many solely issues they had been in sync on: Life hurts. Although I by no means acquired the tattoo, their sage phrases are written on me.