Paul. - December 16th, 2010
I want words at my funeral. I want people to talk, to speak, to make sound.
I don’t want silences and loneliness, desolation and brittleness, fragile tears.
I want anger. Grief. Passion. Happiness, above all. Joy. Fond nostalgia.
I don’t want them turning me into something I wasn’t. I was just a boy.
But I was someone, even if I didn’t count for much in the eyes of the world.
The days stagger on, and my longing for you takes my breath away.
I’ve never felt such a strong yearning before, and I know that.
It’s been a brief life so far, small years, but the feeling is undeniable.
Kind of like the moment after you open your eyes for the first time
In the midst of a brand-new day. A brief confusion, off-kilter
I miss you. I miss you. I miss the nights, the talking, the silences
The way your laugh would hold me in much the same way your eyes did.
I miss the days, the rhythms of our routine, the silent winding
As we learned how to dance around each other through the weeks
Finding our own measure of peace in the moments we shared.
You breathed for the first time in my mind, a small inhalation
You breathed, for the first time… And the words poured out.
I miss you. It feels like it’s just me bringing on the agony.
It’s almost ridiculous how much power one person can have,
Whether or not they want to - leaving marks, like charcoal
Would you look up and see me, as I am, before you turn and walk away?
Look at me. Turn and face me just once. I’m leaving you by staying behind.
And you turn the dial towards the right as I drive you home, breathing in as heat fills the car.
I thought you were beautiful sitting there, as I gripped the steering wheel with fingers gone dead.
So beautiful, so beautiful, it was like a mantra I repeated over and over in my head, so beautiful.
Is this what life is, the little moments? Is this what we need to take heed of, while we’re still here?
I don’t know, I’ll never know for sure. I wish I did know the answers, sometimes. For a short while.
The curve of your neck as you stared out the window underscored your vulnerability in bold lines
And I wanted to turn away from it, ignore it, pretend it never existed, hide my knowledge of it
So I wouldn’t feel the urge to break it down, transform it, and in the process, destroy it.
I don’t know where I’ll be buried, all those years from now. Not long to go.
I don’t know what they’ll say about me, I don’t know what songs they’ll sing.
I don’t even know if I’ll be nothing but a handful of gray in the end, muted color
To be scattered to the four winds at some secluded location, isolated from everything
I can’t let the wondering get to me. It seems almost morbid. But we all think about it.
It’s interesting to watch someone find their own way, unused to the sudden emptiness.
It makes me wonder what I look like, to outside eyes. How many times have I stumbled?
Tick, tock - the clock races you as you spin across the floor, curtains blocking out the light
Will you let me rest here, just for a while? Regain my senses, get my bearings for a final time
It’s something people have to adjust to. Ask anyone, and they’d tell you the same.
It doesn’t change. I thought I could let you go, I really did. I thought I could walk away from this.
You didn’t think I would. You thought I was someone better, you thought I was something I wasn’t.
All I wanted to do was run, like I’ve done countless times before. I just wanted to shut down.
I can’t do that. Why can’t I do that? Why can’t I withdraw like usual? What makes you so different?
I press down and the blinker turns on, and you make a small noise as I turn the wheel sharply.
Then we are parked on the street next to your house, and you are still staring out the window.
I turn off the ignition and wait for the engine to cool, counting down. Still you don’t get out.
I reach over you, cursing myself when my jacketed arm brushes against yours, and open the door.
The cold air rushes in, and you turn towards me with a question lit up in your eyes. ”Paul?”
“Get out,” I whisper. ”It feels as if I’m taking all of your air, sitting here in the same space as you.”
You step outside, close the door, and walk around the front of the car to stand in front of my window.
I roll it down, staring straight ahead. ”Thanks for the ride,” you say, your breath misting over me.
There are so many words left unsaid, hovering around us like drops of moisture on the night air.
I can’t seem to get the words out. You know I’m depressed, you can see me slipping further away.
But I can’t bring myself to care, see? You are light. You’re going to amount to somebody, someday.
Who am I? Just some guy you let into your life, for a while. Someone who loved you, for a while.
And as I watch you walk away, I think of all your flaws and faults. I think, how beautiful.
Then I turn the key and watch my dashboard flicker to life. It blurs suddenly with tears.
What kind of man cries like that when he watches his ex walk away? Tell me, what kind of.
I miss you even when you’re right next to me. I miss you, I miss you walking away from me.
Come back, my mind whispers. Come back to me, let me show you who I am, give me a second chance
But you don’t, and I won’t, so I just put the car in drive and leave your neighborhood for the final time.
The Christmas lights are on, but I can’t enjoy them. I just stare hard at the road and try not to think.
Not like it works, not like it ever works out like that. But you can try, you know? You can try to make it
Another day of turning the minutes into hours. Another night of counting the seconds until first light.
And I try to not think of funerals. Just in case.