I stared at the obituary as a sculptor observes a block of marble. His face, just below the surface, looked back at me in accusation.
"Can you make me whole again?" his disembodied voice echoed in my mind. "Are you the right man for the job?"
I wondered if I had the skill; the delicate touch to bring him back to life. I put my pen to the page and scratched out words, empty of emotion. Each sentence dug deeper, yet I was no nearer to finding what I yearned for. My tools were too dull for the task. Rereading the brief exposition, I tried again. This time, I asked for his guidance.
“What are the important details I should include? Where are the traps and pitfalls I should avoid?"
He gently grasped my hand as a father would. I wrote in somnambulism and watched his life unfold. I trusted his tutelage and gave myself over to him. I felt the sweat on my brow slide down my temples as my head fell back. My eyes were closed and my hand slid across the paper. My lips parted and a sigh escaped in relief. I breathed deeply as his presence intensified. We wrote in what should have been silence, but I could hear the past replaying itself on an old phonograph. When I finally looked down, I saw handwriting unlike my own.