Drinking. Writing. Waiting.

The unstoppable crying would be worth it if I believed you could see me suffering

The interminable lifelessness would be of some value if I believed you knew how broken I’ve become in your absence

The gradual dementia would be beautiful if somehow you could peek into this yellow wallpapered room

This all too slow death would be life if you knew it was for you

Maybe, somehow, somewhere, someway, you do.  Maybe you still linger here in a way that isn’t only in my molecules.  Maybe when I talk to you, you really hear me. 

I laugh at irrational religious folk and have become too much like them.  Praying to a mystery god.  Swearing by the unseen.

It’s all I have.

We talked everyday.  Of course I hear your voice.  You are the person I’ve made love to most.  Over the stretch of a decade. No one else had as much of me as you. Of course I feel your hands in my sleep.  You are the coven I share my secrets with.  Of course this loss burns me at the stake. 

Grief for dummies

It is said to take 1 to 4 months for every year you knew the person to get through the grief and achieve some state of joy and normalcy, functional contentment

9 months to 3 years of mourning is the hilarious silver lining of this hurricane

I think living that way is laughable

There is an unbelievable courage in sticking it out

And, too, some cowardice in going thru life depressed knowing the best closeness ever is gone. unchangeable.

Shuffling. Ambling. Reminding your remaining friends of death with every exchange.

No one wants to touch the hands of death’s mistress.

They feel like tree roots in gauze.

Blood waltzing through paper screens with the cadence of seizures.

while it’s fresh

i went to watch eryka and karina get tattooed and ended up asking the only available artist if he’d start a piece for me.  willing and able and working, he agreed and we got started.  it was a piece i had thought about getting for years.  the key necklace you got me for the grammys in 09, with your eye in the top oval shape.  we always wore key necklaces when we were apart from each other.  that weekend at the bridge school benefit you autographed something by drawing an eye above a key shape.  after 2012, you complained about me having tattoos with other people and none for you.  I told you we didn’t need them because it could jinx us.  so, now that you’ve slipped into the shadow, it is right that i honor you this way and keep you here with me, in this way.

the first tattoo for you was the I on my left ring finger at that shitty parlor near your nashville home.  neither of us were too fond of marriage as an institution, but always knew if we were going to marry anyone, it would be each other.  when i saw you in June in NY you left me an envelope at the hotel, ink 48 in hell’s kitchen.  you wrote Danielle Owens on it.  I saved it.  it’s sitting on your ofrenda now.  along with the love letter you mailed me in dec 2010 when we broke up and you moved back to long beach from berkeley.  

just two days before you died, i was at heart and dagger with mona and i told her
“i think during this nashville trip, im gonna talk to ikey about us getting married”  
“why?!”
mona said, knowing we live in different states and hardly see each other.  “because we both know no one else can touch what we have”.

i had no clue i’d be in nashville to say good bye to you instead

so, i went to that shitty parlor and the guy was pressed for time and was being an ass about it.  he was flagging all the signs that say ‘don’t let this guy tattoo you’.  and i was about to leave.  it just wasn’t right but it was my last night in nashville so i really wanted to do it there, where you were ready to start a new chapter.  where you wanted me to visit.  where you wanted to convince me to settle down with you soon.  the music was on shuffle.  pretty basic shit had been playing and as he was working on our 5th draft and i was ready to walk out, portishead, live at roseland came on.  “only you”.  i started tearing up immediately.  he sat back down and i said
‘look. this tattoo is more important to me than anything in the world at this moment. if you are stressed about time, i need to leave’.  
he apologized and said we have plenty of time and we both a breath, and got to work.

then came the eye-key.  as the artist, who calls himself “paper”, got started the girls and i were talking, shooting the shit, and speaking in spanish.  paper joined in so i asked him where he was from.  he said Mexico.  I asked what part.  he said Puebla.  I freaked out inside.  outwardly, i said ‘oh my god. are you serious?? that’s exactly where ikey passed away’.  the other artist, alex, who was tattooing karina looked up.  it was quiet in the room.

i teared up again. this time they were happy tears.  so reassured that you were definitely overseeing some things from the shadow and keeping a close, loving eye on me.  so, your close, loving eye will be in my skin once this tattoo is complete.

when things like that happen, and there have been others, i am more and more convinced that this physical shell i inhabit is still here to learn some lessons, here to pass some test.  you’ve left me the tools, weapons, and magic i need to figure it out this time, in this particular vessel, and when it’s over, you’re right there, as big and vast as you always were waiting to intertwine with me again.  
i think of you as an entire galaxy, your cosmic hand stirring the fire inside me and inhaling the steam from this cauldron with pride.  ‘it is changing finally, it is aging well’ you say, breathing me in with your ladle in hand.

no more talk of ending this life.  i walk this path before me armed knowing i’ll be with you again.  our love hasn’t gone anywhere.  im not religious.  neither you.  i just know how eternal our love is and it can’t be destroyed.  i can’t wait to swim in the stars with you and watch the rest of this world unfurl. together.

This is how you leave me

Peering over my left shoulder for death.

Leaning into my write for life.

Someone else’s siren

I’m sitting at a bar in piedmont
Waiting for my sister to finish up with a spa date down the street
Having a glass of wine alone, which I’m no stranger to.

Sentences I’ve overheard already:

“Find a nice lady before February 14th”
“Do you think she’ll be single forever?”
“If I get my oil money, it’ll be 60 thousand, but if i invite her on, I’ll never get rid of her”
“Show me a picture of her”
“She has a boyfriend”

Everyone fretting over what they can control.  What they can have. What others can’t. 

They don’t know yet the answer to all three is nothing.

They will.

One day a siren won’t be an observable noise.  One day, for everyone here, a siren will be the fingertap that starts the domino cascade.  All the dominoes are skyscrapers. And they never stop falling.  And that siren will be the last song you’ll ever hear with wonder.  The rest will be requiems for the certainty of loss.

If this were two months ago, I’d be texting you to say how annoying these yuppies are.  You’d make a joke like that’s what you get for hanging out with Jazmine.

I miss you so much, Isaiah. 

loops. wheels.

“Boo, forever”

Spinning like a ghost
on the bottom of a top
I’m haunted by all the space
that I will live without you

–Richard Brautigan

I feel like I’ve lost my mind. It just circles around memories of you and is pounded by disbelief, I’m on a loop, and it’s all things you. I still for a second think it’s you when my phone goes off. I keep waiting for this to become something else. I address you like you’re here because none of this feels real to me. You don’t feel gone but everyday I’m reminded you are.
This is bullshit.

Home

In a world of seemingly endless possibility
We all crave familiarity
I crave our closeness with every blinking awareness of being alive
And am made grateful you left having that kind of love before you flew away
Anything I create is doused in your constant compassion
You are the most amazing person I’ll ever know
I love you

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