Ezekiel Lived: A Memoir of Families
This is Ezekiel, the title character of my work in progress. I knew him first as a thug and a fighter; I rescued him from the streets, and he helped rescue me from the lowest point of my life. As I write in Ezekiel Lived at the beginning of Part II, “At the time of Zeke’s diagnosis of heart failure, I’d experienced death, but I’d never experienced dying. I’d never looked in the eyes of a being I loved, knowing our time together was limited, and said, ‘I love you,’ and ‘Thank you.’ As much as I miss him, as much as I wish his heart had beaten strong for another ten years, I’m able to acknowledge the way my cat died as a gift, a redemption.”
In the photo below, that’s me on my mother's lap, with my sister Layne to the right and Tommy to the left. The back and tail of Jour are visible between Mom and Layne (Jour’s sister Nuit was probably snoozing in the house).
My father took the photo. He shot large-format images on a Speed Graphic camera. When I was cleaning out my parents’ house in Spain—they died five months apart, in 1993—I found a box of negatives, many of which I’d never seen as prints. This is one of them.
Here’s another, taken when Dad was serving under General Patton in World War II. I don’t know who took the photograph; Dad may have set up the shot, himself.
Ezekiel Lived: A Memoir of Families interweaves the life story of an ex-feral tomcat with the history of a complicated family—with a number of complicated families. It’s about love, international adventure, finding a place to call home, and not looking away from the gaze of death.
I’m a little superstitious about discussing a work in progress before it’s officially out in the world; I’ll be updating this page, once I start submitting to agents.