You know who you are, so I don’t really need to name names, do I? Didn’t think so. We were tight, you and I. You got me – you were my homey G before the west coast came up with that shiznit, yo. But enough of the lingo, especially considering you’d shoot me in the head if you heard me speaking that way. You were always a stickler for good grammar.
(My writing career thanks you for that, by the way.)
So I find it’s time to state the obvious again: I miss you. All the damned time. It’s hard to believe you’ve been gone for three and a half years. Actually, that’s not totally true. Some days it feels like you’ve been gone forever and I’d punch a baby squirrel just to see you again. Other days it feels like I had you on the phone yesterday, saying something droll, supportive or . . . well, mean. You had your ups and downs, but so do most people. For some reason I liked your downs better than everyone else’s. I think it says something about how much you love a person when you can say you miss their bad qualities and mean it. And I do mean it. I miss your double sided compliments and shit-stirring. If nothing else, they made life more interesting.
I talk to you a lot, and if there is such a thing as a great hereafter, maybe you hear me from time to time. I suppose the awkward part is HOW I talk to you, which is through Your Stuff. Not important stuff. Not pictures or adored personal belongings. Anything you owned that is now mine acts as a conduit to you. The other day it was spoons. Screwed up, probably, but it is what it is. I was in my kitchen doing dishes and talking to you through your spoons. They aren’t even special spoons, just your standard, every day teaspoons held in some antique glass thing Mom gave me. I chattered on for a good half hour about work, writing, my pets, my family. I noticed you stayed rudely silent, but that’s probably for the best. If the spoons started talking back, I’d probably shit my pants, and no one wants that.
It’s sort of strange how grief works. I think about you pretty much daily, and most days I do all right with it. Sometimes I even smile now, which was not something I knew how to do at first. I guess that’s the “Time heals all wounds” thing people talk about. Except time doesn’t really heal all wounds, does it? Not when I’m driving home from work last week and have a pang deep in my gut when I remember that you’re gone. That’s not healed. It’s scabbed over, maybe, but that’s about it. Maybe it’s going to be one of those wounds that’s always going to ache just a little bit, especially in the cold or when the weather’s about to change.
Thereby making it like arthritis. Good to know. Like I said before, grief is strange.
I was going to say I wasn’t exactly sure why I was writing this to you now, not when the pattern of my behavior regarding you has stayed the same for about a year, but I’m pretty sure I do know why. It’s the holidays. It’s always worse this time of year because I can’t help but go over Mom’s and expect to hear the random YOO HOO coming from downstairs. Your calling card, how we knew you were coming up. Time for me to confess to a terrible sin – when you used to do that? I’d roll my eyes. I’m not rolling them now. In fact I sort of want to gouge my own eyes out for ever finding it ridiculous, but I have a lot of moments like that when I think about you. Regrets, things I can’t let go. Remember when I was seventeen and going through A Bad Time and we fought and I said I couldn’t wait for you to be worm meat? I know you forgave me, but I’ve never forgiven myself. There was no excuse for that and I’m STILL sorry. The only thing I can say for myself was I was pretty fucked up at the time and had a lot of anger I didn’t know what to do with. Course, you told me I’d regret it one day. You were right. You usually were when it came to me. You’d point out that I could be the warmest and the coldest person you knew all in one go, and it was true. It’s still true. I wrote this random “About Mom” thing on Mother’s Day this year because Dave and I were so broke, I couldn’t afford to get her flowers or take her out to dinner. Fucking depressing, let me tell you, but that’s besides the point. Her response to it then was something along the lines of “Just when I thought the only person who really understood me was under the ground . . . ” and I found myself nodding right along with the sentiment. I knew exactly what she meant. You cut through the bullshit with people. You saw ME. You understood me. And I’m not sure anyone else gets me quite at that level. Mom’s close, getting closer all the time, but you had it all along, didn’t you?
When’d you get so damned smart, lady?
So yes. Holidays and missing you, things that go in tandem – like PB&J except not delicious and I don’t have a ‘creamy’ or ‘with nuts’ option. If I had a ‘with nuts’ option, people would probably look at me funny. They do that anyway, but I can’t really blame them. I do strange stuff. Like, you know, talk to my dead grandmother on my blog like she can read it. Fanciful me thinks maybe you’re catching my vibe, though, like maybe all of those convos in my kitchen with your silverware are getting to you. On some level I hope they do. On another, I hope they don’t. You’d probably tell me talking to spoons is stupid. Which it is, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing it anytime soon, so nyah.
I’m winding down now, I think. There’s not much else I can say that I haven’t said before, somewhere else, or better. The jist is the same and it always will be: love you, miss you, and wish you were here. You’re in my head and in my heart.