I suppose I am feeling a little sad rn, actually, and it’s not because I looked up from my report and saw we were right in front of my old house in kzoo. And it isn’t because Wayland had a semi-truck fatality, throwback to all the people I’ve lost in the same way. It’s not because Don’s heart is exhausted and breaking, and all I can do is plant letters in his mailbox, hoping, anticipating. It isn’t because you had Starbucks in your cup holder, something so mundane, so familiar about your individuality, it left me in a mild state of mourning. And it isn’t because the supervisor asked me if we were dating, his confused oh when I replied the honest truth no.
Maybe it’s because JZ got me talking in the garage, long after you’d left, and we brought you to life. Except instead of painting you vibrant, maybe a little overexposed, we called it what you are. And I guess verbalizing it, those hushed words echoing between us, made things too real. Because you are earth tones chased by a darkness not even the Mariana Trench could brag. And even if I shot 400 lumens into your brain, you may not feel a difference, you may not feel a thing. No matter how many semi-colons I collect for your well-being, you may still choose different punctuation.
But really, I think I’m a little sad rn because we are potential energy, yet these conversations got me feeling like a firefly splattered on a windshield, shot dead before it even had the chance to glow. I feel it in my chest, heart aching blue like in Siren’s Lament. And maybe when I’m older, my first heart attack will send me straight back to right now: cross-legged in the passenger seat, my partner cursing with road rage on our way to a patient pick-up but I don’t notice much of anything over the gnawing sensation behind my rib cage, planted there after conversations, conversations of all the things I did and didn’t say, the last image I have of you, walking away with your head bowed. You lied, I know, when you said you were fine. Your eyes, you should know, are honest even if your lips are practiced liars.
So today’s lesson learned is not that Don was wrong, that, if I gave you my heart, you wouldn’t comprehend how special that is—because you comprehend the gravity of that novelty more than anybody, my ride-or-die proclivities. It isn’t that JZ is right, you and I are doomed, stars not crossed but pending certain obliteration. It’s not that I feel everything and you can’t, your demon answering to the name “apathy.” Today’s lesson learned is that I don’t like talking about you in third person. Because I reserve those conversations for the dead, not the living. And even if you can’t see the beauty in it yet, you are still in the latter category. Still in the latter category and that is something.