“Between the Bars” by Elliott Smith just came on. You said it reminded you of the night we first met. I can’t listen to it without thinking of you and those first tentative moments of conversation when I was somewhere between sober and blackout and made some dumb comment about wanting to visit both Seattle and Washington state. Of course, I was immediately called out on this (but not by you) and asked if I knew Seattle was in Washington. The only natural thing I could see to do was admit that I was drunk and let the chips fall where they may.
You still talked to me.
I couldn’t believe it. Who would want to talk to such an obvious moron? Of course, you know by now that I do, in fact, know Seattle is part of Washington. But you didn’t know that then and you still dove in.
I’m so glad you dove in.
You swam immediately out to the middle, beckoning me to join you while I stood ankle deep on the steps. You waited for me to let go and meet you out there. I hovered, one foot above the step, the other pushing off gently until I swam to you in a rush. Over a month now, we’ve been bobbing up and down, clinging to each other so we don’t drown.
You’d never let me drown and I know that.
I won’t let you either.
Now you’re sick and it’s been three days since I’ve “heard” your voice. It’s been three days too long. Too many hours, too many seconds. I wish you could use my body to fight, too. I’d give it to you in a millisecond and for eternity. I would inhale the purest air to fill every corner of my lungs just to exhale it into you until all the sickness is expelled.
I’ve called hospitals, said your name, held my breath. Waiting. Always no. No one here by that name. I want to hear yes. Yes means ok. No means I don’t know if you’re ok. And I need you to be ok.
Now, I’m here pacing back and forth, reading Robinson Jeffers just to feel close to you and then Bukowski to lighten the mood. I’ve read all of Sylvia Plath’s letters to Ted Hughes a thousand times and I want to be your Sylvia Plath (except I won’t kill myself because I don’t want to miss one second of you). And I’ve been praying to a God I don’t even know if I believe in because what kind of God brings me you after I’ve waited a lifetime for only you just to then take you away from me….
And maybe I sound frantic and obsessed and maybe this will scare you away if you read it.
But I know it won’t…..
I miss you.
Get well soon.