[A passage from my journal for 20 August 1989]
I got up about six in the evening (PDT) only to learn that my lizard had died during the course of the day while I was asleep. No warning—zap—gone. My pet was zipping around last night, or rather this morning, when I went to bed. I thought about feeding her banana or something but I decided it could wait until I got back up. And of course when I got back up she’d died. Twenty years and now she’s gone. Twenty years. I can’t fucking believe it. She went out in character at any rate—I found her hanging head downward, her back feet clinging to the top of the cabinet she’s been spending her time on for the past few months. Always bizarre, even to the end, my beloved lizard. Anyway, it took a bit for the shock to hit me, as it always does, and I felt at first as if it didn’t hurt. I could even laugh—and it was funny, too, the way she chose to depart from life. I called my father, and talked to brother and sister-in-law when they dropped by. And somewhere in there the shock hit me and it began to hurt, and hasn’t stopped hurting three days later. I cleaned out the bathroom of iguana-stuff—her towel rack that she climbed to get on to her perch, her thermometer, her heater, her perch. It hurt.