Monday, May 9, 2016

Conseula Francis

My dear, dear friend Conseula Francis.
What does it mean when someone--someone I know, someone I love--is gone? I don't believe it.  I'll see this picture of her and think, "Damn--she looks really good!  I'll tell her the next time I see her."  I'll sob, but, later, I think, "I need her feedback on my writing."  When I had the latest challenging experience with my own body, she offered for us to be have bagels and talk.  And now she's gone.

I can't believe it.  I can't see her as gone.  How does this happen?  How do I reconcile myself to a world she doesn't inhabit?  Is it fair for me to have those thoughts?  

I've been thinking all day about Conseula's death, but I don't need to share some of those thoughts.  Much of what I'm thinking is about myself, and I don't want to talk about my own issues today.

I want to speak with Conseula. Who is gone.  Who is no longer here.

Conseula was wonderfully fierce and pushy.  She was funny, even when she was pissed off.  Sometimes, especially when she was pissed off.  Conseula worried about her children and their future.  Even in the midst of her own problems, she always, always made time for her friends.

Ten years ago, Conseula and I left a meeting together.  The meeting was about tenure and promotion, and it left us sobbing and terrified.  So, we formed a writing group with Claire, and years of writing and research productivity followed.  All of us became full professors and the best of friends.

I love Conseula.  I already miss her deeply, terribly.  Someday I will comprehend that she is gone.  But not today.  Not yet.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Saturday morning, Brian, Maybelle, and I went to a beautiful spot at the College of Charleston, near the Sottile House.  The place is filled with flowers and big live oaks.  And Brian and I got married.

Marriage!  Spouses!  Partners!

Maybelle and Brian are SO SWEET!
What the hell, right?  We're in love.  We live together.  We trade off about who has to get up with Maybelle in the night.  We share toothpaste.  And here we are:  married.

Holding each others' hands, getting married!
You get to see the entire gear here:  I have my hair
covered with cloth.  I have the Optune
electrodes covering my head and pushing
electricity into my brain.  The backpack is loaded with
batteries.  And I'm happy!
Although the idea surprised me, almost immediately l said, "Yes!  Let's do it!"  In my life these days, I never know exactly what's going to happen.  I'm beginning a list--the joy list--and Brian clearly belongs there.  Here we are:  we're both here and in love.