Smoke Signals

I composed an email to you just this afternoon.  I’ve been waiting to hear from you all day.  I didn’t want to overwhelm you with my need to “hear” your voice because I thought you might already be overwhelmed by other things.  So I waited until I couldn’t anymore.  I had been typing it for two days; going back and changing things around, taking words out, putting words back in.  I wanted it to be perfect because I wanted you to know everything is going to be exactly as it has been.  Everything the same. Everything the same.  That’s what I put in the subject line.  I’ve been reading Lisey’s Story by Stephen King and that’s what Lisey and Scott say to each other to indicate all is right with their world.  I wanted you to know all is right with ours.

I sent it.  I breathed a sigh of relief knowing you would soon be reading it and would hopefully feel reassured for a minute and know I’m here.  I may be over here and not there with you but I’m still here.  Only a minute went by before an error message appeared, telling me your mailbox was not found.  My heart plunged to the very bottom of my being and I felt suddenly stranded.


I knew what it meant.

Yet I still kept trying to send the damn thing to you.  Over and over.  I forwarded it, replied to it, pulled up an older email and wrote something on it and sent it all to you.  The same message popped up every single time.  And suddenly it was like all the color was sucked backwards out of my eyes until only the gray was left.

The Gray.

It was gray before I met you.  I had been living in The Gray for so many years I thought there would ever only be that forever until the end.  Then you showed up and you threw your beautiful color all over the walls of my soul until it practically glowed in the dark.  It did glow in the dark.  It glowed so brightly in the dark that I didn’t need a night light anymore.  Your color was all over me; it was inside me; it was becoming me.

And now you’re gone and the air is thick with suffocation and remorse and things that hurl themselves at my windows trying to get in but they can’t because the windows won’t open without you.  They’re all stuck and I can’t make them unstuck and I don’t even want to because what’s the point… it was always   ever   only   you.

That’s the truth of it, too, isn’t it?

It was always you

It was always me

We rode in on the waves of our past.  Breathless and tired.  We washed upon the shore at the same time, our limbs tangled together, our eyes closed tight from the salt of our wounds.  The tide covered us for a moment before the sea hungrily swept her back into the ocean.  There was silence then and when we opened our eyes there was a tiny shimmer of light in the darkness that surrounded us.  We found each other there in that light.

I wanted to stay in that light with you until darkness found us both again, this time eternal.

But you’ve gone.

You walked back into the ocean.

I wasn’t looking and you let your shame overwhelm you.  I should have found you in that shame and given you sustenance.  I should have fed you my very life.

I’m sorry.

But I’m not leaving.  I’m never leaving this shore.  I’m staying right here with my knees pulled up to my chest, the wind of change and time blowing through my hair until the sea spits you right back out to me.  Let the waves beat your battered heart and the fish nibble at your pride; gasp the salt water until it burns your lungs and when you’ve beaten yourself until you can’t anymore, ride the crest of the wave until you get back to our shore.

Back to me

Oh, how I’ll run then to meet you and drag you to safety on our sand.


We don’t have to say anything at all.

You sent this song to me while you were sick and I’m sending it back to you.

I’ll be waiting

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