It began to rain then and the grocers at the farmers market not far from us scrambled to clean their dirtiest fruit from the runoff coming down the corners of their canopies. Did you bring the paperwork, I asked him. She wrote half her will with invisible ink. The visible first half read kindly, first an introduction, then a number of pleasantries. Afterward which, the last visible line read, ‘whenever you are ready lay me upon an incandescent light bulb.’ As it turns out this line indicated a common method used to uncover the lemon juice that she used as ink in the upcoming and more personal passages.
I never read those passages. They were washed in the hands of the rain. The lawyer stipulated that we meet alone and in a public place. I married a cartographer, with a knack for treasure maps. She wasn’t even dead. She wrote a new will every year with hieroglyphics and cave paintings and charts and graphs. Every New Year’s Day I met a man in the city square and received the last living testament of my still living wife.
At the hardware store I bought five yards of white christmas lights, then I plunged them through thin translucent tubes. Wrapped around my right arm, from the hook of my thumb to my elbow, they reminded me of a garden hose from the sun. I braided and then wreathed them into an oblong rope of light that forever amended the possibility of its own ending. Ten minutes before her alarm I plugged them in, and two minutes later she woke up surrounded, in a bed of light. She made a lot of faces, half awake, confused and stumbling through some new and unforgiving experience.
Now I have a tendency to run most things over clean light. I’m searching hard for sediment in wine bottles, pressing flashlights to the seemingly vacant spaces in photographs, always checking for invisible ink. ‘Whenever you are ready lay me upon an incandescent light bulb,’ It was a wealth of misgivings, this language, and more pleasant than I ever imagined it would be.