Thursday, September 3, 2015
Tiny Little Diamonds Moving Across My Face
Sometimes I wish there was a way we could wake up and know when it would be the last time we would see someone. Upon rising our brains would give us that information- remind us to pay extra attention, tell people you love them, hug even harder, say goodbye. But that wouldn't work, would it? Someone like me wouldn't be able to gracefully end it, an expiration date on years and years of a relationship happening right then and there, a firm closing of a door. It wouldn't work. So instead we go about our days, we live our lives, we try to act in such a way that we won't feel regret or sadness when the inevitable does happen, although even as I'm typing this sentence out I know that it's impossible not to.
I remember where I was when we got the call that your body had been found. I can remember the green trees over my head for some reason- the leaves swaying back and forth and that shushing sound as the wind blew through them. It was so quiet except for that shush, shushing, and the sun glittering through that canopy like tiny little diamonds moving across my face as the leaves shifted back and forth. In my memory I knew it was a bad call before I knew it was a bad call, but really I don't know if I that is true, or if all of the terrible-ness of that moment bled into the before and after, creating an awful frame.
That was the first time I lost someone I really, really loved. I feel removed from it now, and to be honest I don't think of him as often as I once did. But then other times I'll be doing something, anything, and a weird wave comes rushing in- sounds and sights and feelings- and I'll remember it all. And now as a Mom I'll be pushing Charlie in a stroller past these particular places- we used to run on that track there, we used to grab dinner there, we used to sit on that porch here- and it's like time slows down for just a second, silent except for my heartbeat in my chest, memories dropping in quicker and quicker, until I feel like I have to visibly shake my head to keep moving.
Years have gone by now and we've lost other people we love. Time goes on, life goes on and things happen. Horrible things happen. The older I get the more I see this. And this morning I woke up with a head full of anxiety. In these moments or these kinds of days my brain is my enemy. I can go on for days, weeks, months happy and bouncing along, but then one day I will wake up and there it is- that fog. It's as if my body has a reset- things are going too well, too good- let's bring you back to reality, let's fuck you up. So I have a hard day where my mind races around anxiously and reminds me of anything upsetting that's ever happened. And when I sat up in bed at 6:10am all I could think about was the fact that you should be 28 years old right now. 28. All of the things you could have done with your life. And I felt so angry and sad because there's nothing I could ever do to change any of it. You missed out, we missed out, every person who never knew you misses out.
(And it's weird that I'm thinking about this now. I can see though it's a dream I had, a photograph I stumbled upon, an ex-girlfriend I ran into, a conversation with Hank, all rolled into this morning. Little pieces of memory floating around that finally found their place, together. Click. I sit here and type this post that I feel uncomfortable even sharing, but at the same time I know that when I get that feeling perhaps those are the posts that most need to be shared.)
We live in this small town and we go about our business, we take walks around the square in the green, bright summers and in the orange, crisp falls. The snow falls in the winter, the daffodils come up again in the spring. We have horrible days and great days, we do all sorts of everyday things that add up into one big feeling about what we're building- we work to figure out what this all means. I try to remember to pay attention, I tell my friends that I love them, I hug hard, I do my best to enjoy every moment. But then there are little spaces between all of that- bumps and blips on the timeline where you should be, where you would have been. A blank spot. And that hurts. But we keep going, we keep looking ahead, and as time goes on I've learned that instead of stopping in the places where you would have been, I need to carry you with me right over them. And in that way, you'll always be here instead of there, a part of the now instead of just then.