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You cannot feel my pain, the pain that makes tears useless and which attempts to make breathing useless. I, thank God, cannot feel your pain, for it is felt only once: the pain of death. So then, in pain, I went to the drawer and took out your key and went to your apartment to separate that which may be found from that which may not be found, and from that which has been found.

                    I     HAVE           FOUND      THIS.

                    Yes, Death          No, Not

     Pronouns, mere words, swim together and become confused in meaning.
     Words, mere words, are the remnants of a life surpassing memory and love. Remnants of a life spread wide, words read, are not lost, and life is not lost.
     These, then, are, words.

Words of general felicity, of wit, aphoristic, truistic, blatantly ignorant. Words clouded with truths forbidden: forbidden, yet still truths, though forbidden.
Words of shock and terror and fantasy and obscenity and consummate beauty.
Words of thought, silent thought, sweet thought, deep thought, long thought, thought.
And after the four volumes of words, perhaps another: incandescent poetry, such as will corrode evil, present the Beautific Vision, be, ohgodpleaseyes, BE HIS LIFE.     ohpleasegodyes.

The fact that his death was fast, as fast as a plummeting airplane could speed to make it, could not have prevented his mind---for those last breathless seconds as the dive robs the mind of rational thought and the animal comes to the lips in a fearful scream---from framing for a moment the thought that this, for the first instant, was a knowledge of death. Not a relief that comes after an instant of danger, when the mind thaws from its freeze and gasps as it realized how close death HAD come, but a positive knowledge that death is here before the next clocktick, before the next full breath, before the next swallow of food, before the next clasp of a lover, before the next respite of sleep, before the next spring rains, before the next ocean sunset, before the next snowflake. Not the fact that death will be or might be or may be, but the fact that death IS. Without evasion, without hesitation, without the blessed relief of waking from a nightmare, without any hope, no matter how loudly one shrieks, or how fervently one prays, or how tightly one stupidly pulls one's seatbelt, death NOW IS. And there is no "after" to the "is." No gray light in which dust settles peacefully around an angelically upturned face in the wreckage, no groans of pain telling a melodramatic audience that there is still a chance---only annihilating fire and shattered fragments and serums which once composed his body. The "is" of death continues forever for you, and I have only the "was" of you, which is excruciatingly worse than nothing.
That final word hits the ear like a bell's tone which has been muffled before the entire sound has had a chance to leave the sounding chamber. Dead, and such is my beloved. That he was my beloved made very little difference to him during his lifetime, but it meant very much to me. Now, after his death, my love for him means precisely nothing to him, to him to whom everything now means precisely nothing except the answer to the question of what remains after death. But to me, part of what remains after his death, my love means everything and nothing: everything in that I can think of nothing else; nothing because to me my love for him now means precisely nothing. He is dead. To me, he is Dead; but that can never change the fact that he is merely dead.

He knew me very well, better than anyone knew me. I knew him little, as little as all others knew him. But I had the fortune/misfortune of receiving his last meaningful words, and more than anyone else, except the dead, I know the meaning of death. He wrote to me about it, only days before he died. Since he adapted a superficial garb to the world around him, his thoughts were concentrated on one person but seldom. And thus I feel with fear that his last thoughts---as they were to me---were solemn solitary thoughts of death.