Now a man named Lazarus was sick – John 11:1
1. Aaron Servi had become as transparent as a lacy veil, as insubstantial as a ghost, as wispy as morning haze. He flitted beyond the realm of sense-perception. He slid spoons across the kitchen floor. He upset a chair in the enclosed patio, cascading wicker to the floor, crenelated pillows to the deck. He was there, but he was harmless. He was present but distant -- the annoying, perennial pest. His parents continued to write him. His twilight existence should have expunged the need for family reconciliation. But there were rituals to enact.
Servi moved about for six months, attempting to find traction in the context of no traction, and their letters arrived at various pensiones, youth hostels and single rooms, haphazardly and without apparent chronology. It was as if some capricious ghoul had ripped the chapters of a book from the binding and heaved them pell-mell to the four winds. Servi tried to write back, but it appeared that his letters did not reach his parents. Or when they did, their response revealed that they had received an alternate version, like an outtake which should have ended on the cutting room floor. Oddest of all: sometimes they answered letters that Servi had yet to write, as if something was cracked in the very fabric of time.
Dear Aaron, his father wrote, Why don’t you come back to New York? Maybe this whole Italy experience is a mistake. A dead issue. This city has seven million people. There are millions of opportunities for you. But first you must come home to us and start over again in America…