1142p 11th december 2021

this late at night
at this time of year
there are some very dark stretches of route nine heading north to home
so dark that i could turn off my headlights

and disappear

there are very few other cars
no lights
i could drift into nothingness
brightness

then black.
Nothing.

the road ahead opens its maw
promising to swallow me whole.
it could be done.
Over.

this void within my chest swells
my brain reels

this is a thing I know, now, filed away.

letters from the past. 9th february 2018

dear j.

sorry I missed your call yesterday; Penny was here, helping me get Gary’s computer sorted (well, preliminary steps, anyway; she’s got more research to do) to get it connected back to the server. The one password he didn’t store in LastPass is the root password, because obviously that, his phone password, and his LastPass password were the only ones he needed to remember to unlock everything. She’ll be able to get sudo access though, and from there, be able to reset the server. She was able to open a terminal though (zshell) and it was a beautiful thing watching his code populate the screen once again. I happen to know that his code is streamlined and super-concise; no obfuscation, no mess, but it was heartwarming to get confirmation of that from another Linux user.

I gave her three of his most favored coding books; Beautiful Data, Beautiful Code, and I can’t remember the last but she was like “are you sure? These are really expensive”. Yes, I’m sure. They’re in good, useful hands now.

i wonder what you would say

I wonder what you would say
if you met my Brian. Would you look up at him and say (head cocked like the dog on the victrola commercial)

how?
how are you so good?
why are you so good?
I see how she loves you.
Everyone does.

And he would look at you with kindness in his eyes and his voice would drop and he would say

aww sweetie because you are me.

I want you to feel the love I feel
I want you to know what this feels like because I don’t know that you ever have.
I don’t know that I have ever felt this love for you before now.
now, when it is un/complicated.

It hurts me that this is here and you are not.
That I am here,
That you are not.

welcomed.

to the lovers of my lover.

How I wish.
How I envy the decades you have had
learning this man, evolving with this man.

How grateful I am.
For your caretaking
your taking care of each other until I could get here.
I wasn’t ready.
So many things had to happen, first.
so many terrible things.
I arrived, breathless, on your collective doorstep.
Invited in but still a surprise.

thanks giving. 747a 27th november 2021

i am thankful. greatly grateful.
hugely.
for my family, with whom i did not spend the day, but who understands,
or at least is willing to take my word for it that it would only harm me to be there.
i am grateful for my friends, my lovers, my loves.
the people with whom i did spend time, both physical and emotional.
trying to be as out of my head as i could stretch
while still remaining tethered, albeit tenuously.
knowing that this feeling as all feeling always does
will pass
and that there is indeed if not light
then a less-dark path.

what do i do now 854a 17 october 2021

my voice, transcript below

I have so much to say to you so much that, um, I just
i keep thinking that

I keep wanting to

I just
I just want to share with you. I just wanna tell you I just want you to see me now. I want i really

and I don’t think you would blame me for where I am. I don’t think anymore that you would blame me for where I am. Because I

depended on you so much

i depended on you so much and
it just took everything away.

you’re
gone.

and everything you did stopped with you.

There’s no one here. To see me doing fuck all.

There’s, there’s no one.

No one to report to.

There’s no one here.

There’s Mojo. He was real happy that
I went to bed at 9:30 and fed him first and got into bed and he came right in with me. And we snuggled all night, got up around six or something for his medicine. And then went back to bed.
Had like 10 hours of sleep sort of

what the fuck am I supposed to do now? what do I do now?

I mean, if I thought there was no way before and then there was but now it’s like everything is used up. I,
i
If I spend the money I have on the car, I will have nothing else.
nothing.
I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now.

Shower, head north. Make more stuff I guess.

the seventh day. 13th september 2017/2021

I never heard your voice again that last day, today.

By now (8:18am) you had already had a stroke, you were already being prepped for neurosurgery. I never heard your wonderful, delicious, boomy voice that day again, today. That voice, when it was being clever and kind, I could listen to for hours. The last time I heard your voice, a few hours earlier as I was leaving your bedside for some sleep, it was pure and true and you told me you loved me and I take that with me into Oblivion.

I have the words you wrote to me, I have the texting we were doing about the kitties, about your anticipated relief from the meds they gave you every day to soothe your terror, I told you that “they will, my love.” You did not tell me about the stroke. You saved me from that. You gave me the most selfless gift of not having to worry when worry wouldn’t help.

I know that the last words of mine that you saw were that I was coming to you and that I would see you when you got back. I have that unbelievably beautiful post that you put on Facebook that morning. I didn’t know then that these would be your last words. You were so concerned with last words you had a whole book of them on your side of the bed. You didn’t want to end up like Pancho Villa.¹

I know the last words of mine that you heard were from my mouth to yours, to your ear, my head on your chest, your hand in mine. I know you heard me because the doctor told me you could hear me. I told you you were safe, that you were loved, that you were okay. That everyone was working on you to help and that you were okay. That you were still going the right way and that I would see you soon. That I wasn’t going anywhere. I told you that I loved you. I told you that I loved you. I told you that I loved you.

I am posting this to you directly because I want certain people see it. I want to know (even though I won’t) that certain people are aware of what today is, that certain people are thinking about you.

Of course I won’t know. Of course I know that that part is a useless, useless exercise and one that will not bring me any joy. I know that that part is petty and small. And still I feel the need to do it. Perhaps someday I won’t. I believe your memory deserves to be cherished in a way that perhaps your life was not.

I have been learning how to exorcise from my life the things that do not serve me. I have been learning how to be more patient. I think you would be amazed. Truly. And yet I don’t do these things to amaze you, I do them because I am finding my way towards happiness, for truly the first time ever.

I know that every breath you ever took in and exhaled is still out there in the air, circling and eddying and dissipating and coming together again.

I know that the electricity that powered the supercomputer that was your brain and that faulty thing that was your heart is still reverberating out here in the ether, in here, inside me. I know that the ashes and broken bits of bone and teeth that I have on my bookshelves, in the room where I spend most of my time aren’t indicative of who you were, that even at their most concrete, these remains are the most ethereal ones.

Things are still so hard. The pain is getting easier to bear. I have people who love me who are helping to ease the weight. There are times when I feel you in the room with me, when I am transported for a moment, and it is comforting.

There is so much I have to tell you; so many things I need to say. So much I need for you to hear.

I am learning so much.
I need to tell you everything.

bisous,

glitter

¹ https://truewestmagazine.com/article/the-lie-of-villas-last-words/

four years/forty years

Last year I turned off Facebook memories for 2017-2018-2019 for this week beginning today. Today is the beginning of the end. Today is the beginning of the last week that Gary was alive.

So much in my life has changed in the last four years. I am not the same person who I was four years ago. I am not the same person I was forty years ago.

Forty years ago is when my bipolar disorder began to truly manifest in ways that other people could see. When my behavior became outwardly observable. Things that only I could see and feel and experience from age five were finally coming to the surface. The person that I grew into, the person that I became was by necessity, a damaged, broken, angry, fearful thing. I was shaped by my experience, by the storms inside my brain that no one could understand, but the results of which everyone could see.

The person that Gary met, she was a powerhouse. She had divorced her first and second husbands. She was taking care of her cats. She was running her own shop, she had an employee, she was working a lot. She was working out a lot. She was taking care of everything around her. She was not taking healthy self care.

She was, however, manic 24/7 and hella cute and driven.
And on fire.

She is still here, in my brain, part of The Committee. She listens mostly. Doesn’t have much to say anymore, more an observer. She sits back and nods knowingly, joint in hand, smoke curling from her lips. She is Rosie Revisited, captured in a portrait, hanging on my wall. There are times when she does speak, a forceful, if gentle “STOP IT.” I have evidence.

your author. 📷 Gary Hoffman 2002

Four years ago I was forced to stop. I became incapable of movement in any appreciable direction. The formerly driven, push-through-ahead-no-matter-how-miserable-it-makes-you person could not go any further. The “attack wife” had no fight left. I had no accountability to any other human. There was no one there for better or for worse. My life spun completely and totally out of control. I lost things, am losing things I can never get back. And yet…

I have found a new self, a calmer, more even self. I am finding the capacity for euthymia, for a happy evenness above my emotional equator. A firm-yet-squishy pleasantness that exists beyond the edges of what I smoke and carries me through the day and into my involvements with others.

I am no longer miserable.

In voicing this thought, however, there is such exquisite pain for the reality that Gary could have been helped. That perhaps he too could have finally found some measure of relief, as I have. That we just hadn’t gotten here yet in researching. That given enough time, we would have.

We didn’t have enough time. But I do.

I miss you so much.
I wish you could see me now.
I wish you could hear me now.
I wish I could talk to you.
The only thing you can do is listen.

And all I really want is to hear what you have to say.