And where does gratitude, unexpressed, go? I’m not interested in washing it from my body like sand on skin after hours at the ocean. What I want is a place to put it: public. Or, semi-public. Maybe we could make it password-protected. People could go if they needed to be around some gratitude. Could ask a friend for the entry code, like the hot tubs near Ashby where I would’ve wanted to bring him. Where I try to get so boiling that I stop thinking for a few minutes. Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between gratitude, longing, and hate. It needs a somewhere, besides inside me where it bubbles, too much to contain. A parklet or a secret bar or an underground cathedral. All of which are, I guess, already effigies.
Janet Frishberg is currently at work on a memoir about grief, writing, and friendship. Her work has been published in Catapult, Electric Literature, and The Rumpus, among others. You can find her on Twitter @jfrishberg.