Five years and counting

I am remembering for some bizarre reason the last time my boyfriend cooked rice. “You rinse it first, right? Until the water turns clear?”

I’d forgotten I ever told him to do that. My mother used to nag at me to rinse the rice before cooking it, and I never did because it seemed like an unnecessary extra step. What’s the point when the heat will destroy whatever needs to be destroyed?

I only started doing it after she died. I suppose it’s another weird ritual I made up, like the cranes and the notes in simple Chinese and the incense, the obsessive idea that if I burned these things she would get them or, better yet, the flames would open up a tiny portal into the parallel world in which she is living a new life without me and can see me continue to live mine even if I can’t see her. I’m reading Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, and what a pleasant way of referring to these delusions of the grieving.

Yesterday marked exactly five years since she died. I’ve lived a little over 20% of my life without her, and every second that passes is another second away from when we last coexisted. Tonight, I feel acutely alone.

 

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