Like when I unexpectedly come home early from work and turn the doorknob and for a millisecond imagine the impossible: That I will open the door and find loyal, dependable Other, with whom I have lived for 41 years, cavorting Hugh Hefner–style with a fetish-festooned lover. Or that Other will be cold and dead on the carpet, heart stopped unexpectedly, like that of his father, who keeled over one night at the dinner table, burying his face in his stir fry.
Or that during a routine visit, the ophthalmologist will light up my eye and read my death written in the venous scrawl of my eyeball—one blot spelling out how it will end.
Or that the phone will ring, and this time it will be the one I have been anticipating for all these years, the one that informs me that a parent has died.
One day, I know, this fleeting world will not whirl out of sight. It will stand still long enough for me to step onto it, and then I will live there as it orbits my old world, which will be as out of reach as the fleeting world once was.