Sunday, September 9, 2007

Heavy Things

I went to a Modest Mouse show in Brooklyn last night. Kyle hated Modest Mouse. There's this one single, Float On, that you've probably heard because they can't play it enough on the radio. Once, when I was home for Christmas in '05, Kyle and I were driving through Eagle Rock and it came on. I turned it up. Kyle turned it off. He was heavy into reggae by then and considered the number of white bands on my iPod to be a sign of my lack of musical maturity. I turned the radio back on. Kyle turned it off again. I screamed at him. He called me a whiny bitch. It went on like this until the song ended. After that, every time I sang along to Float On, even back in New York, I thought of Kyle and how ashamed he would be if only he knew what I was listening to.

The venue last night was outside in this massive 7000 person 1930s swimming pool. The sky was wide above and the night was thick and sticky. Towards the end of the set, the drum beat to Float On started and a breeze picked up. The crowd cheered - it had been waiting for this - the melody started, and I thought of Kyle reaching for the radio dial with his spider fingers. "You can't listen to this pop shit, Mir. This is really bad."

There's this line in Float On that I've always loved:
Don't worry
Even if things end up a bit too heavy
We'll all float on all right.

Last night, I looked up into the gray bowl of the sky and saw that it was empty. It didn't hold my brother's body or soul or the promise of seeing him again. He wasn't up there, smiling down and shaking his big ol' head as I danced in a crowd of white people. He wasn't anywhere at all. That realization was like a great weight on my neck. My brother was dead and buried and the only place he was anymore was with me. On me. Like he was suddenly sitting on my shoulders, his legs hanging to the ground, his fingers wrapped around my forehead, and he was never going to let me put him down.

I smiled then. I felt slow, and lonely, and heavy, but I smiled because even dragged down like that, I was okay. Dragged down like that, my mother was going to be okay. My father was going to be okay. Things had ended up entirely too heavy, we had to carry Kyle with us now, but somehow we were still standing. It was a shock - who knew we could hold that much weight? - but it was also encouraging. If we could still stand, we could still walk. And if we could still walk, someday we might be able to float.


cynthia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sbl2383 said...

hi miranda! this is your mom's "old" friend, suzanne. i've been reading your blog & sometimes feel like i'm peeking at your diary! is it okay with you?
i am so moved by your writing and the depth of your thoughts, feelings & perceptions. your mom thought you might like to know that others, outside your family, find your words incredibly powerful. i think you are amazing! of course, i think your mom is amazing too! you won't remember but i've known you & kyle all your lives. i've heard of your life adventures over the years and know how proud your mom is of both you & kyle. i'd love for you to meet my daughter, danielle, who also lives in the village, someday. i have pictures of the 2 of you playing together when you were about 2 years old!
thanks for sharing so much of yourself with others - your words have great impact. i love the one you posted today & have the words from the song on my bulletin board, words that resonated with me.

didi979 said...

God Mir, this is so beautiful! I love you sooooo much sweetie . . . everything's going to be alright - right?

By the way, Devon & Siena are coming home for Thanksgiving! I bought them tickets last night. They will get here on Thursday afternoon, so we will have a late dinner on Thursday - 7:00ish; and then the party will truely begin. I hope you all come and stay with us and celebrate that we are together.

Great big hugs and kisses - float on girl!


cousin katie said...

simply beautiful.


Anonymous said...

I read this and was moved.. Pat Graham (modest mouse's photographer) has started up a project where fans can send in stories, photos and videos to him for the website/future book he is working on..I really think you should send this to him..its very touching..I was at that show and shared the energy was amazing and modest mouse are can send it to Pat at

please share it..its heartfelt and moving..sorry for your loss,
Tanner (

Turtled28 said...

I have been catching up on your old stuff ever since Crystal @ Boobs, Injuries & Dr. Pepper sent us over, and I had to comment on this.
That line you quoted is my favorite line as well.
It resonates, and it helps us remember that no matter How we grieve, when, where, and who for, it is a cycle. As trite as it may be, "this too shall pass" comes to mind. I can't listen to this song in a car without rolling the windows down & letting the breeze blow over my face, and thru my hair, because it is so soothing.
Thank you for reminding me of that.

Cat said...

Wow. Reading the last paragraph or so of this post was incredible. My sister died in March of 2007, and you managed to express into words exactly what I have felt...