We were in her apartment in Manchester, VT. The one above the liquor store that she moved to after she left the house across from the junk car lot and Jimmy left to go to California and get straight. We had just finished dinner and she was showing me the cameos her mother gave her. I never understood why anyone liked cameos but I sat and looked at them. I liked the color of the background. Slate blue like the walls in her bedroom. The white face of some woman I didn’t know made me uncomfortable somehow and maybe I said that. I don’t remember. It was a good night. I remember we ate Dinty Moore Beef Stew, which I loved and never ate at home. She used to make lasagna and other big meals but the last few times I’d visited we just ate canned stuff, which was awesome. I didn’t know if maybe it was easier for her to chew. I tried not to think about her fake teeth because it made me feel funny just like hearing her snore at night when we had to sleep in those twin beds at her mother’s house on the visits when she needed someone else around with us. Anyway, I didn’t ask questions. I liked the taste a lot and she was happy that I liked it. That’s what her friend Melissa said one day when she came upstairs to meet me. She said, “You’re making her really happy.” And then we looked at a painting my mom was working on. It was maybe something about the resurrection. She was really into that. After she killed herself I remember being given a catalogue of some show of hers and the painting on the cover was called, “He is Risen.” It’s in storage in Brooklyn where I used to live. Anyway, it must have been spring because I remember the light was coming in the windows of her place and we were sitting on the couch and she said, “I was thinking I might move to Santa Fe and start a gallery.” And I said, “Yeah?” And she said, “I mean I would really love it there. There are mountains and the light is so beautiful. I have an artistic spirit. I could really start over.” I remember wondering if there were really mountains there but what I said was, “It would be so great. And you could paint and go for walks and meet people and I could come visit and maybe even stay for awhile.” And she said she was really going to do that. She was really going to make a change.
Gabrielle Calvocoressi writes the Sports Desk column for the Best American Poetry blog. She is the daughter of Diane Jule Daw.