I struggled for eight years to write this essay. As soon as the obsession began I knew I'd have to write about it, but I kept putting it off because I was apprehensive about what the obsession would reveal about me.
Bury or cremate—whatever’s cheapest. Make absolutely sure I’m really dead before you do anything. If you bury me (don’t send me to Richmond) pls get Don D to build me a plain pine box, or bury me in the trunk Liddie gave us that we use for the coffee table, unless someone wants it.
Language itself had turned sharp-edged on us; to negotiate a conversation—that to an outsider might have sounded innocuous but that to us was laden with dangerous secrets—was like picking your way barefoot through a field of broken bottle glass.