Stay here. Stay here stay here stay here (repeating ad infinitum into the dark, into the open windows of my car out to the night ) stay here please so much more for you so much more please stay.
I look out into the night, look into my mind to remember the things that are waiting for me. please stay. I know you feel unwelcome but please stay. I know that you feel that there is no room for you and that you need to be by yourself but please stay.
I smoke and I smoke and I smoke and I smoke I smoke until finally I find something that makes me laugh, I comment, “thank you, that finally made me laugh.” knowing that it will only last until it doesn’t.
2023 Each year that I read this (and it is now five) I am struck by how close to the initial feeling I still have, how it is now my core, how those first four months of aftermath set the tone for my moving forward.
The sentiment is the same. I wish you could see.
I couldn’t be this person if you had survived, I wouldn’t be. I wouldn’t have to be.
I wonder if you knew the electricity and wonderment and sheer delight others know to be my truth; I have to believe we had that, too, once upon a time.
How good was my best back then? How close to this could you possibly have seen back then? I guess it must have been something because we met and fell in love and you told me so eleven days later.
I wish I could talk to that girl that I was that person who was running on full-blown mania 100% of the time. I have so much to tell her.
2018 Gary, my love.
Four months ago today you left this Earth.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss you, that I don’t think about you, that I don’t have something to share with you.
I’ve grown stronger, and softer, and wiser. I’ve grown in ways you would expect, be proud of. Become even more resilient, because I’ve had to. You always had my back even when neither of us knew it. Even when it was too difficult to say so, to share so.
I’ve met people who you would like, who you would love, and I’ve told them so. I’ve made changes; some small, some not-so. Evolved, mostly. Become, more. The way The Velveteen Rabbit Became.
Anyone I let into This Widow’s Life has to measure up to your memory, is judged against your bar, and a very high bar it is indeed. I can reach it on tiptoe, in bare feet. You remain the smartest man I’ve ever met. The most difficult partner I’ve ever had. The most worth-it partner. You had to be, we had to be, for me to not give up, for us to not give up. And we never did.
I tolerate less, and more. Funny, that. I’m not afraid to speak my mind, stand firm, hold my ground. I give no quarter; this far and no further.
Those I have let in, those few, I think they know, I think they realize what a gift it is. You did. Even though it wasn’t until the very very end. So bittersweet; but I am not bitter.
I feel like if I had all the answers then things would make sense. if I knew all the things, if I could puzzle everything parse everything. if I could see where every single little thing fit in the world where all of the things had their place then perhaps I would know where my place was Because I do not. I see all the things and I don’t know how they fit I don’t know how I fit I don’t know where I fit. . big things huge things loom out of the dark like I didn’t know they were coming like I just fucking forgot (no, you didn’t forget you just forgot where you put that part of your memory ) does anyone else see the difference?
you know i wanted to be part of the conversation but you switch it to things i can’t contribute to.
thanks. bye. it’s okay.
they’re not rejecting you. they’re turning towards each other. it doesn’t mean they don’t want to talk to you it only means they aren’t as invested in the every last bit of it as you are so please please please please just understand that please it isn’t against you it really isnt, it is okay you are okay.
This is real fear. This isn’t the free-floating shit that pours over me like a fucking wave of lava no, this is real fear based in reality and is well-founded.
This is all of the usual panic and terror before a show coupled with the fact that I have decided to make a fucking living from my work. My real work. That kind of a decision takes confidence and it is a confidence that I am not so confident I have under me completely.
I know it’s there, I know way down it’s there.
The part of me that is the gatekeeper, She Who Heads The Committee, She stands in front of that door, arms crossed. She doesn’t say anything, just looks at me, looks me over the way I assume everyone looks me over all the time. It is She who I have to win over, ultimately, She is the one who pulls me together.
One thousand, eight hundred twenty six days ago was the last time I heard your heart beat next to my face.
I miss you. I miss you every day. I am glad you saved me from hearing your voice that day, already altered by the stroke. I am glad your face was already placid and sedate when you heard me telling you that I loved you. I can imagine the smile. You were actively dying. You knew I would be angry for not waiting and you knew I would understand.
You were dying and you saved me. You have saved me.
it’s pure fear in my brain in my skull full of open-mouthed terror and no No no no no no (mouth opens wide as if to scream but no sound comes out) it is as if my brain knows not to attach worry to the unchangeable my brain is so quick to send out the orders but my body, my body says otherwise there is nothing and everything specific the overwhelming state of my life
I smoke and smoke and smoke and cough so hard I puke there is still no lift, no elevation.
If I knew what was to come what could I change what could I do If I knew 5 years ago right now what was to come what would I do. If I could see this moment right now where I am, unshowered for days, sitting outside in a public secret space with my coffee and my weed the constant anxiety manifesting in different ways now. I may look calm but I am not.
Everything is so heavy, so fucking heavy. I could not change a single thing, I know that.
Five years. Five.
I need this time I have needed this time I need more time.
(((but where am i?)))
I lose sight, I lose connection I lose my self
I am unsupervised and there is no corral no border no boundaries but the ones I hold to and they are so very shaky the only (??) difference being that I have become better at holding to them i just* let go of that terrible, engulfingneed (let go or be dragged.)
or am i just so tired that I cannot summon the effort
I need to think need to believe that this is something I have done that I have wrought within myself to life, to life.
Salty tears fall; light up, breathe in. Ex h a l e .
five years ago this was your last two weeks on Earth. You didn’t know, I didn’t know. No one did, no one could.
I turned off facebook memories for those first three years, it’s too much.
(there have been years gone by, now, years without you. Years.) “those first three years” is a terrifying thing to say out loud. i digress.
As the memories come up for this week, though, I am warmed again by the things I see, the things you responded to, the way you responded. all not knowing what will come, all perfectly normal and routine and lighthearted and me rapidly cycling, clutching fast to anything stable
and then there is this yawning pit that opens and will never, ever close unhinges its jaws and e v e r y t h i n g in my life hurries in, disappearing.
it is only now, close to the end, again that i am beginning to see my way but is it clear? no, not yet.