“If this will help get you out the door today, I’m all for it,” said the skeleton. “Not that it’s nice out there, or worth going out, or anything like that, but if you need to get going– get going I say. You show me a man who sits around typing when he needs to get going, I’ll show you a man who sits around typing instead of getting going.”
I need to write about the terrible eating habits you taught me and my sister.
“Well, that comes straight from my childhood of grinding poverty. I was very proud of you, you remember, when, as a little kid, you ate ten hot dogs at that Fourth of July parade at Wading River. That’s a pretty distorted kind of pride, if you think about it for even a few seconds. You could write about my bad eating habits, sure, why not? Especially if it helps you get a handle on your own poor eating habits.”
Also, you were about to ask me who the Book of Irv is really about, you or me.
“Wait, I’ll send you out the door with this one. You are the living Book of Irv, since you’re the repository now of all that once was me. You know more about me than anyone alive today, with the possible exception of your sister, and possibly more than anyone alive ever. You were always a scholarly type, by that I mean you were always interested in trying to understand things most people would just have said ‘fuck it’ about. You brood about things, turn them over in your head, study them.
“I would say, truly, the Book of Irv is about this discussion, about the importance of discussion, dialogue, a dialogue between us, between us and the reader. A trialogue, if you like. The central tragedy of the book is that we could always talk, even when we were in the middle of a battle, and it makes it all the more heartbreaking that instead of embracing you as a friend and comrade, as you deserved, I held you at arm’s length and cursed you as my enemy from before the time you could even talk.
“That, as much as anything, is why I truly didn’t give a shit about much as I was dying, outside of telling you how sorry I was about the whole thing.”