The One-Year Look-Back

Well, it has been a year.  How are you doing?  Are you up to much these days?

I miss you.

It’s strange.  This sustained silence.

I think of you often, but the memories are so different now.  Every moment captured in brief clips.  Little homemade videos in my mind.  Shoddy editing, bad sound quality.  You’d tell me you hate them, but I think you’d like them.

You’d still hate the world, too.  You’d still think it was full of drones and viruses destroying the flora and fauna.  Poisoning the water.  Polluting the skies.  Pumping idiocy into our national discourse.  Overdosing on distraction.

I’d try to tell you that people are trying to their best.  That we’re all broken and flawed, but we’re striving to be good.  That the elephants trampling around in our minds shake us so deeply that we make mistakes and treat each other poorly.  That our sins are justified by circumstance.

You wouldn’t listen to me.  You’d laugh at me.  You’d point to other issues.  You’d dazzle me with pugilistic wordplay, which I would severely undervalue.

I hate that I don’t get to see you anymore.  I hate that you’re done making art for us.  I hate that you’re elsewhere–a ghost in our heads.

I hate that you’re not dead-panning a joke that makes us cry laughing right now.

I guess, I’m still broken, confused, and sad about you going.  But, I’m trying to get to understanding.

I look for you out in the world.  And I wonder if you’re somewhere out there.

It’s all pretty messy.  Still, I remember beautiful snippets of the intersection of our lives.

Us as kids.  The long summer nights in your room with our friends.  The sweet smell of cheap booze and cigarettes.  Laughter around a card table.  Jokes about god and death.  Your deep well of interests and love for your people overflowing and drowning us all in impossible joy.

I remember light rain on lazy afternoons leading to movie showings in your room.  You judging me as I tapped away on my phone intermittently.  In retrospect, I wish someone would have told me about the time I didn’t have.

Christmas time.  I was home from away.  You took us all to the movies in your little red sedan.  You complimented my jacket.

I wish you did not feel so defensive about who you were.  Cause who you were was universally wonderful.  You cared more than anyone I’ve ever known about others.  You focused your energies on every last detail.  You were the smartest person in any room.  You could make anyone laugh.  I wish you gave yourself a shot.

But, maybe it was us after all.  Maybe, we all got you wrong.  You were comfortable being you, but the world wanted you to be like them.  And you declined.  You kept on treading that unseen path towards parts unknown as we all gaped at your bluster thinking we knew better.  I don’t know if we did then or do now.

All I know is that now we all have to live with this huge sense of loss.  You’re gone, but also your future has been dashed.  The wake that follows the bomb.  Just an ellipsis.

You’re always appearing in my head.  I’ve got a second inner monologue now that attempts to fill in for you.  I guess, that’s my life now.

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