I was thinking that if I didn’t write this then I might explode, or worse- go on living without truly confronting my true feelings about losing you in this way; maybe even forget this intense pain that will never really seem real, no matter what the situation. Time does not heal all, fully, completely. Although like most things I’ve fallen short to believe in over time, it is a nice idea, at best.
I stand in the shower. The water is hot, this I know from the rising steam that engulfs the small red bathroom, but it’s not hot enough. Can’t get hot enough; suddenly I realize that there is now such a void there, with you gone. Not here, in the shower, of course. God. Though we were lovers for so long and equally as long ago, it goes so much deeper than that idea. Label. Whatever term you’d like to go with.
There is a void; some kind of crater in my atmosphere. In many others own atmospheres.
I begin sobbing all over again when I thought maybe I had gotten past it after hours of crying, but it won’t hold. All day long. It’s been sinking in. Maybe it’s feeling more real now. It’s like a strange dream that doesn’t make sense. I woke and couldn’t sleep. I don’t understand that. I think of last night, as I worked at home on a new table decoupage piece, happy. Had a few beers. Finally feeling okay, mostly. Maybe more than I have ever. I’m not sure. There are levels to these things. I try to pinpoint an instance last night when it must’ve happened. Having been through what we had in the past now I think it makes sense that I awoke this morning, tossing and turning, far from finding sleep again. That maybe when you share such a large portion of your life with someone- an especially someone you believe you love- well, maybe these connections are bound to happen. Maybe it’s something unexplainable. Maybe I won’t really believe anything, wholly, ever.
I can remember no such instance of sudden sense hitting me last night; sometime between ten and eleven, that second when you were ejected from the car. Killed instantly, they said. No, last night I worked in the living room, listening to music loudly, smoking too many cigarettes. Painting and gluing, sanding. I had bought the table for $12. Downing a few beers, T. doing his own thing in the other room.
I’m covering up things. I can’t feel them right now so it only seems to make sense. I feel guilty. This feeling comes over me. How long I worried about you. How no matter what I did, nothing seemed to help. How of everyone I have ever met, you had this curse, some kind of bad luck wind following you around all the time. You couldn’t get away from it. It wasn’t fair and has never been. Such a smart mind. All the things you could’ve done. It seemed there was always some various sort of road block that got in the way of such dreams. It wasn’t what you deserved. I hope you know I did everything I could. That I tried, and I changed who I was as much as I could- how I’m sorry for all those things that happened, so sorry and you know we were both stupid and young, so much younger then- now I read in the news that you were 31. I knew that. Still that seems so strange to me now. When we met I was 18 years old. You were four years older than me.
I am only comforted now in knowing that we had made peace with one another. When you came last year, and we had fun just like old times- before all those years after when things just became so complicated, somehow- as they just do. This world. They just do. And god, how we drank too much and then slept so late- in our clothes, as we used to- god. We woke groggy, then slap happy and heavy, choking down a morning cigarette & drinking a beer, the hair of the dog- – ate pizza and smoked weed, laughing off the hangover. How familiar it was and still there were so many things between us now.
Still it hadn’t really felt that way, hadn’t felt like anything had changed particularly. I had definitely changed in my views toward relationships and people. Time had changed you, too. Maybe I thought I was hot shit deep down. I don’t know. If that’s true, I wish it weren’t. I still feel I was the same old me. Now I just blame myself. It’s there- this kind of guilt- the kind that keeps you up at night and you can’t talk about. I think back to all those years where I felt I held things together for you so much. I wish now I had helped you more.
It isn’t okay. It isn’t okay that you’re dead. What were you doing? Why are you hanging out with these kids? You weren’t even driving the car. You wouldn’t have let this happen. You wouldn’t have wrecked the fucking car, you wouldn’t have been so stupid as to “die of a drug overdose” as that bitch said, you would have been fine. You could have been fine. Why didn’t you want it more? Why couldn’t you settle down? You couldn’t. How I waited for you to come home, to help me when you were just at some hippie festival, getting high on whatever was there and not calling me? How mad I was. How lost I was. How hard things were between us. It doesn’t add up, it’s not right. If only I had known- around this time last year- if I’d known that this was coming. Maybe I would’ve remembered things better, maybe I could’ve made sure to remember all the details- as we sat outside of Papa Keno’s eating pizza, nursing our hangovers and talking about old times. How foreign it seems now; how far away. If only I had known. Would things have turned out differently? Could I ever really been enough to save you? Could I have done things differently? How could I make you okay, and make you happy? What was I supposed to do?
Now time somersaults inside of itself; I’m at a loss for words. Can’t speak; have only been able to cry for hours now it seems, and listen to the same few songs on repeat. I can’t listen to Elliott Smith. It would be too hard. I can’t listen to Bright Eyes- remember in Tulsa? And how much fun we had, and how it seemed like you were finally growing up, and how I still ruined things anyway? How afraid I was of going back to you and it being so hard to be in again.
It wasn’t always bad. It wasn’t always good.
And of course we were both crazy but still something in me makes me wish I’d been enough to save you.
Like I always say. Said.