FRITH II

I have been watching Farrow work. He has patterns and routines that he completes in cycles, like an animal does, to survive. Where an animal eats and drinks and sleeps, Farrow explores and thinks and then he writes.


When I was alive I was never much for writing. I thought it was a silly distraction, something women and old men did when they were bored. Why write about something when you can live it?


Watching Farrow, I think I have divined the answer: he writes to master things which otherwise would kill him.


As I am now, I have no need to write. And yet, after so much time watching my friend put pen to page and finger to keyboard, I have decided to attempt a journal of my own, if only to better understand him.


My friend. I do not know if he would approve of the epithet, but I will apply it nonetheless. He is a friend to me, even if I have not been one to him. Maybe he does not yet realize the fullness of the gift he has given me. But he will. In time.


It is strange to be without the woods.

No — not quite.


I lived my natural life believing they were woods. But all along they were something else, pretending. For most of a century we were in a symbiosis, the woods-that-weren’t and I … now, away, I am not sure what it is that sustains me. I am not alive. To be alive you must breathe and sleep and eat.


I have not needed to breathe, and I do not ever sleep, and I have only just begun to hunger.


Does that mean that life, in some way, is returning to me? I never had any sort of hunger before; I could only wait, not asleep, not alive. I suppose it remains to be seen what sort of hunger this is, and what sort of life.


I wish to write, like Farrow does. I wish to learn what drives him. What makes him laugh, what makes him sad. I do not like to be away from him for any length of time. Even now, I am restless; he has left our apartment and gone to his new job at the nursery. I would have gone with him, but there is a stand of trees on the hill above the nursery, and I fear the eyes of the woods.


I asked him yesterday what it is he hopes to do now. With my help, he has done what I thought was impossible: he has escaped their thrall, and he is a free man again. Not quite the same, perhaps … no. He is not quite the same. But that was the price that had to be paid.


A coyote caught in a bear trap must chew off its foot to go free.


But to my question, he had a strange answer: He said, “I just want things to get back to normal.” This perplexed me. I asked him what sort of normal he was hoping for.


“I want my life back,” said Farrow.


This life he pines for, the one he had before he came to the estate and met me … what is it about this life he misses? What makes it so much better than the life he has now?


I do not understand him. I do not understand him. I do not understand him.



And so I write. And in writing maybe I will understand him, Farrow, my friend.


I feel as though we are meant to be together.