most everyone wants me to be angry but I just can't hold on to it; my heart's not in it. my heart, my stubborn heart, it won't listen to a thing I say. standing in the shower, waking in the morning, running on the river, watching tv; there is no place without you.
as I drive to work, I pass on my way a woman standing with her little girl at the bus stop. an ordinary woman. it is raining; the little girl holds an umbrella. I pass her and as I drive by I think, ordinary people don't wake up every day with this heavy sadness. ordinary people wake up and make toast, drink a cup of coffee, watch the morning news. you're not supposed to feel like this. it's not supposed to be so hard.
I keep trying to do this complex math, thinking somehow if only I can get it, everything will be right again. I try so hard to avoid memory altogether, but snapshots of our life creep in, despite. the memories, plus the math, are on some days enough to kill me. I remember how by the third date there was no question that we wouldn't see other people. I remember how engulfed I was by the wave of love that came upon me in the fall; how there was nowhere for it to go in your absence but into the food I made for you and stashed in your freezer; into cleaning up your kitchen; into love letters. I try to add these remembered glimpses to the absence of now, the zero, the unintelligible lack. the equation is off. something defies me; adding it all up, I could never have foreseen this outcome.
this disbelief keeps me rooted to the ground. stuck. lost.
I begged my sister recently to please reassure me that I would make it to the other side of this. 'you have been sitting shiva,' she said, 'but you have to keep moving forward.' I liked the idea that this was what I was doing -- sitting shiva -- but it's not accurate. shiva only lasts seven days. and afterwards, you're supposed to feel a little better.
it feels like everyone must be exasperated with me. including you. including myself. I find myself preoccupied with 'supposed to.' you are supposed to be over this by now; you are supposed to be better; you are supposed to be angry, or healing, or you are supposed to forget. you are not supposed to hurt this badly after this long. you are not supposed to question; you're supposed to move on.
it turns out, the depth of my love was greater than either of us knew. is this the great joke of the universe?
it is maybe the best signifier of my mental state that I glance out the window from time to time at the bike rack, thinking maybe my bike's come back. as if whoever had stolen it has just decided to return it. in the moment just after I blink, I recognize the idea as crazy, but there's always one half breath of wild hope before reality kicks in again. in that moment I think, maybe what is lost can be found. maybe what is gone is not gone forever.
what I really want to say is: don't give up on me.