The year the friction match was invented, London University was founded, and The Last of the Mohicans was published.
The exact number of days since the most important person in my life left this world for the next. Only we didn't find out for another two days. So maybe I should be writing about 1828. The year Noah Webster first published his now-famous dictionary.
I'm not into numerology, per se. But there is something about it that fascinates me, how events can be tied to each other, coincidentally but intrinsically, and somehow made more valuable or weighty as a result. But in this case, any connected event seems meaningless by comparion. How can the worst day of my life become any more significant, its pain any more potent?
I once worked out a continuous birth year-death year chainlink chart connecting my favorites with each other. I think I got about 9 links before it got too hard to keep up. For someone who hates math, I do have a certain affinity for numbers, at least in this usage. They do make it easier in a way. Not easier to bear (could anything but the Holy Ghost do that?), but easier to keep track... of the days and months and how is it possible? years since everything changed, everything shattered, everything melted down to a fiery mess of my worst fears and the chilling mirror of reality.
How long since the day that changed your life forever?
I would write more, give details, details, details, as they chant to writers like a perversion of the real estate mantra "location, location, location." I would describe it more, but somehow words fail me. Despite my degree in English Literature. Despite my job in publishing. Despite the thousands of hours since childhood that I've spent writing stories and research papers and book reviews and journal entries. Despite a lifetime of preparation, I find myself, still, without words.
"It's just too soon," I say. Too soon. Healing takes time. I just need more time before I'm strong enough, or brave enough, to do it. But will I ever be that strong again? That whole "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" crap is just wishful thinking. There are some things you never recover from. Some traumas that don't kill you exactly but slowly drain your life away like the sea eroding a sandy cliff. Until you wake up underwater. You've been dying for a long time.
1826 days. "No," I say, backing away, waving my hand as if refusing a refill from a waiter. "No, I can't. It's too soon. It's just too soon."