It’s March 1st. We are 33 days from holding Brain in a Jar in our hands. The date is significant for another reason as well, which is why my beloved publisher decided to have the book debut on April 2–it will be the first anniversary of my father’s death.
The hours, days and weeks after Beau died passed so slowly. I felt like I was covered in mud and walking in quicksand. I could barely see other people from behind the wall of wet dirt. I couldn’t hear them particularly well either. “What did you say?” I asked frequently.
Somehow, though, I managed to channel all my grief into an obsession with keeping my memories of my father alive. I had already written Brain in a Jar, but I began editing and tweaking it, adding and subtracting to it, every day. The book expanded and contracted as if it were breathing along with me.
How will I feel when Brain in a Jar appears on my doorstep in the form of a hardcover book? Probably much like I do in the stories contained within: Proud/humble. Joyful/sad. Courageous/fearful. Hopeful/regretful. Torn between my father’s identity and my own.
I do know what I will do with the book, however. I’ll put the first copy in the middle of the big desk my father had made in the Philippines in 1965, the year I was born. I’ll set it down in the same place where my father used to keep a real brain in a jar–indeed, his father’s own brain.
Then I will close my eyes and say the last words Beau said to me, “It’s funny how things turn out.”