October 17, 2014 Leave a comment
I’m in your mom’s house, in the guest room, trying to pretend like I can eventually get sleep here. Many loving people have been in and out today, offering all the feeble words of sympathy we all do under these circumstances. This is surreal and I swear I keep checking my phone when it lights up for another message from you, I keep taking my phone out to text you about what a fucked up day it has been. I keep replaying the last few days over and over again waiting for them to rewind and undo themselves. Waiting for our thanksgiving trip to Nashville to come so I can meet you after tour like we planned. We were gonna go furniture and plant shopping for your new place. We were going to be able to sleep beside each other for ten whole days, a luxury your traveling rarely afforded us. After nearly ten years of loving you, I’ve grown so accustomed to hardly seeing you and relying on texts, calls, and Skype to sustain our turbulent, unconventional, persistent love. We never talked much about “the others”. Yours. Mine. We had others, most of which were attempts at getting over each other, and a few that were sincere bonds with someone who offered a relationship clean of the soil and blood long term love is guaranteed to leave behind. We only talked about them to confess that any other we truly got close to complained about being to feel my presence in your company or your hold on me. We were going to figure it out this time, again.
After New York in June, San Francisco in August, we had both been really excited about Nashville in November. I was thinking about moving there. You wanted to show me it’s charm and try to convince your mermaid to move hours from the beach. It was a task anyone could call impossible, but that was exactly us. We knew little about our love made pragmatic sense, but when we spent hours on the phone and when we finally saw each other, we knew where home was.
Your sister came over today and quite possibly saved my life. I reached out to who I considered your favorite women and she was the one, as expected, to actually swoop in and face this with me. She let me tell her how much I just want to die and go with you, how much I regret having wasted so much time at war with you, listened to pages of poetry, shared stories of knowing you so long, years longer than I. You picked a good one, baby. Your girls are going to see each other through this.
It’s still not quite real to me. Even now I write feeling like I’m just talking to you. If I speak to you aloud, our families might think I’ve lost it and have me committed to keep me safe. I felt safe and sane beside you. All of our time, trips, kisses, teary eyed talks, love making, fights, laughs, inside jokes, unspoken truths have always been imprinted in my cells but knowing they have come to a physical end bleeds the color from life. I always knew there was more, always knew we could keep coming back, always knew we weren’t going to shake each other.
When I was seeing someone else earlier this year, my therapist asked me “could you ever see Ikey marry someone else?”
I almost shot out my seat and startled her with a quick, vigilant “No!” And she told me I needed to observe that response and figure us out. Duh. And there you were, with open arms, because your feelings were the same.
We were so crazy, bumblebee. I love calling you that. You’d call me orchid. That night in Long beach, we got stoned and watched adaptation, we agreed you were the bee designed to pollinate the kind of orchid I was, and when you felt you had lost me, you sent me exquisite arrangements of orchids.
You can’t be gone, baby. We’re not done yet. In many ways we’ve only just begun. You were a saint to put up with me in my twenties. And you were a sinner too.
At the core of me was you, and our unshakable bond. I really don’t know how to return to “life” after Tuesday morning. I’m currently just a receptacle of all things You.
I talked to Mona yesterday. She told me she was receiving messages from you. I’ve seen her give readings before and I know she is a legit medium, but I’m still someone usually skeptical, just by nature.
She told me you were very concerned for your mom, she told me you wanted her to tell me you’re sorry for leaving me here, you didn’t mean to, that you too thought you had more time.
And then she said something that audibly shook my bones: “He keeps saying something about a favorite pair of tennis shoes”
Mona couldn’t have guessed or predicted that. In 2006, I searched high and low for a pair of sneakers you saw in the Haight one day and surprised you on your birthday by having them sent to you. You were so touched and elated. I remember having so much fun looking for them, calling every store on Melrose from Alameda with no luck, and knowing they were the only acceptable gift I could imagine at that time because you were so juiced about them.
Baby, I’m a fucking wreck. I can’t live haunted like this. We’re supposed to lean on each other eternally. I’m unable to make any sense. I’ve been split into shards and shells. I can’t even see where all the pieces are. This can not be real. I finally slept a bit last night and when I woke up, for the most infinitesimal of milliseconds, everything was normal and you hadn’t slipped away. My love and my life were nowhere near death’s clandestine, greedy grip and we were pushing along as usual.
Then as instantly as it came, it fled. Replaced with the grim, unchangeable truth that you came home from Mexico in a fucking box.
“Odio a todos los que aman, y que felices están, porque yo no puedo tener”
But I did have it, up until the abrupt end. I’ve been listening to that voicemail from that cursed night, you simply said “I love you too”. You saw my text “Ikey, I love you”. I missed your call. But I didn’t miss my calling. Forever your orchid, forever your Mama Bear, forever your friend, forever your family, forever Your Woman.