I wrote this almost two years ago, and read it at Matt’s Vermont memorial. I think I’m ready to post it.
“Did you water the plants?”
The g-chats would come from Asia, South America, Africa. I would sigh and smile and type back in that too abrupt chat shorthand. “Yup” and then we’d bounce to some other topic, often dirt-or-word related. Matt Power could be both singularly obsessed and as scattered as the visas in his passport. Did he know that I cared as much about the plants’ survival – the striated leaves of the spider plant in the bay window of the parlor and the abundance of the vegetable-berry-herb-opium poppy garden of the summer – as he did? If I wasn’t on my own travels, I was babying the babies too, giving them water as they soaked up the south sun, all of us awaiting his next return to Hawthorne Street. I lived there with Matt and Jess for five years, from the first day when we sat on the bare floor in the bare limestone (“It’s not a brownstone,” Matt would correct.) eating takeout, as a cast of characters came and went, until I left too. Did he know I loved the plants? Did he know, we all asked last week, when news of his death in Uganda arrived, how much we loved him?
We often step into each other’s lives in quiet, non-monumental ways. [Read more…]