I has been there in the corner of my mind for a week or so -- the image of a twisting Hill Country road, lit by dim headlights, as we drive back to Austin late at night. I kept pushing it away but today it finally broke through and became a full-fledged memory. Jim and I were coming home from visiting Aunt Melba, and my cousin Lorien was asleep in the backseat. It was before he had mono, before he lost his job, before he became suicidal. It was when things were good, and we were keeping ourselves awake by singing along to our entire Dr. Demento collection. He was happy that night, and not just his usual "holding it together for another day," but really happy. I could sense it then and I remember it now, how he was genuinely glad to be alive in that moment. And I was glad to be there with him, to be a part of bringing him that moment. A rare and precious moment of joy.
I remembered all this, and then I remembered that he is dead.