“In my memories, he’s alive, so I can’t make my brain compute the information that I’ll never see him again.”

Reading Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley reminds me of when I read Graffiti Moon. How much I loved it, how much I wanted to be in Melbourne at night, bombing with Cropley. He was living there by that time and a few months later, on his last night, we talked for hours on the phone. That’s what he was doing and I felt like I was by his side.

The Union Hotel - his last legal piece
The Union Hotel – his last legal piece

I hear the wind trying to rip his paste up from his hands as he struggled to put it up. He couldn’t hold the phone and stick it up so he told me to wait while he finished. The wind howling in my ear, snapping at the paper. My laughter that he didn’t just say goodbye and hang up. That’s who he was – being there for me in my sorrow for my dog, keeping his own demons at bay for just a little while longer. I helped him without realising, as he helped me.

Rachel’s grief in Words in Deep Blue brings back my grief from all those years ago. I find it so hard to continue, but these burnished words ensnare me and I keep reading.

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