Today, I exist.
When we were younger, whole days and nights would claw me under before I'd wink back into the world. But now that Joseph's come to this cold land on the edge of nowhere where the sun barely sets in summer, I'm with him every day. Joseph and his long shadow and me, inseparable.
I'm never sure exactly how I feel about that. It's complicated.
It's the way this place seems to always be lingering on the edge of winter, I think, that makes me more permanent now than I was before. Winter and death must be linked somehow, bound together in a way that can never be untangled, like you can't have one without the other. Or anyway, you can't have winter without death—bees, flowers, the grasshopper who refuses to work as hard as the ant, they all die at first frost—but you can definitely still have death without winter. Sort of like me and Joseph: there's no me without Joseph—I'm his after all—but Joseph can go years without me.
Or maybe it's the war.
I don't know. I'm still working this all out.