I’m supposed to be writing something, I’m sure of it. There’s a bucket full of post ideas, overflowing from my desk, but I’m going to write to you, because I can’t talk to you.
I don’t know why it still shocks me.
You’ve been gone 157 sunrises.
You weren’t here when I stepped out of the prison gates. You weren’t here when Flash spent his first night outside, or when I found a new perfume, or when Perdita started wanting to wear it too. You weren’t here to comfort me when seeing your ashes in a box wracked me with sobs and split my soul in half.
(I know that doesn’t make sense. But life doesn’t make sense, why should I?)
You’ve been missing from Life for 157 days, and I’m still shocked.
But you know that.
You’ve always known your girl.
In that way, and many, I am lucky.
We had said our goodbyes already. I saw you just days before you left. I was weaned off of my need for your presence by one full year of state-imposed separation. It’s why the big things aren’t so bad.
I learned a lot in a year.
I learned how to fall asleep without your shoulder to rest on. I learned to look up from my meals and not see all of the colors of the earth twinkle through your eyes. I learned to stop looking to my right as if you were standing silently by.
And I learned how to tell people that you died. That you existed gloriously, and died quietly.
I learned how to look straight into the blank space where you once were and not flinch.
But I am still shocked.
Because when you look life in the eyes, it self-corrects, and the blank spots fill. It isn’t on purpose.
I promise, handsome.
It isn’t on purpose.
The shock rocks through me at the strangest of times. It’s not your absence ripping against my reality. It’s the fullness that has nudged in.
It’s the nonsensical question that keeps me awake:
If you didn’t know you were missing,
would you know you were missing?
Would you know the cat avatar is yours? Would you know that the picture with my crazy hair is hashtagged #BasicallyAXMen because you taught me how to geek? And how to adult? And how to blog? And how to widow?
Would you notice that you aren’t to my right, kissing my cheek?
Would you sense that, in 2006, we stayed up for an entire three-day-weekend talking about how I put doors on everything? Even robots, apparently?
And how you thought my habit of door-drawing was the perfect analogy for how I live? And how I insisted that I only do it because I don’t know how to draw anything else?
Would you know you’re the most important part of my long story? And the fuel behind the short version?
I don’t think so.
This is just a girl’s Instagram account.
And it doesn’t show all my missing pieces. It doesn’t show my shock. It doesn’t show the cracks breaking through all sides of my heart.
It shows what I’ve learned. It shows the prison calluses you never got a chance to kiss away. It shows all the fullness you left for me, and how I let into the blankness.
But not on purpose, handsome.
I just have this habit of making doorways, you see, because it’s the only thing I know how to make.
And when you build a door, sometimes it opens.
And when it opens, sometimes life sneaks in, no matter how many sunrises you’ve counted, or what they mean to you.
It isn’t on purpose but you know that.
Because you’ve always known your girl.
And you’ll always know me, no matter how far I go, because I walk through every door, carrying your dreams in my heart.
So sleep easy, and I will, too.
Love endlessly, and I will, too.
And maybe I’ll write something tomorrow
about how lucky I am:
To see doors where it’s easy to see robot-tummies.
To see 157 sunrises when it’s so very easy to see one dark cloud.
To see the empty spot you left behind, no matter what I’ve painted all over it.
Tomorrow, I will write all about how very lucky I am, and–
if we’re both lucky–
I might just believe me
enough to make it through