I cry a lot more these days. Every night. It’s as though I’m Cinderella and I have to hurry and put Audrey to sleep before the clock strikes and I can’t hold it in any longer. The crying doesn’t have to be manufactured by certain thoughts or remembrances. It just comes, as it is if I let it, containing the whole of you and I, of all that is lost- without words, but instead in soft moaning and sometimes chattering teeth that I had never heard come out of my throat until you died and now I am quite accustomed to.
I dreamt of you last night.
It wasn’t anything spiritual or supernatural, just the work of the unconscious. I was full of anger and resentment towards you, but there was also that good kind of tension as we got close to one another. You were slightly distant, but I was so glad to see you.
It reminds me of a memory that’s been coming back to me lately. It was a few years before we got married, probably eight or nine years ago. We were in one of our dramatic fights, but we both went out separately to a gig of a friend of ours downtown. We had the same group of friends- so I was with a few of the women, and you were closer to the stage with your group. I remember telling two of the older women that I just didn’t know if you and I were meant to be together and that I was angry with you (for whatever reason- I can never understand what all that drama was really about now). One of the women told me that she honestly could tell people her husband was just the greatest man she’d ever known. I wondered if I could say the same of you. The loud band played. I think I had a glass of wine. I saw you towards the front of the long, narrow venue, talking, laughing. We were both doing that. But then…
our eyes kept meeting.
There was such a distance between us there…but our eyes met several times. There was anger in your eyes. There was also hurt and a bit of confusion. I’m sorry. I left with a friend without saying goodbye to you, and I remember crying about that.
Because there was also so much love in your eyes- so much. Even in that loud, crowded venue, it was as though there was a magnetic force between us…a line.
I don’t remember exactly what we were wearing or how we looked- whatever I conjure up in my mind about that evening is just the work of my imagination and I’m aware of that. But that look in your eyes and all it meant- remains with me- even if I can’t see it with my eyes. That memory has evolved into a dream- the kind where you wake up and you can’t remember all of the details, but the imprint, the milieu, the feeling, is so strong.
I smell your shirt today and it still smells. I can close my eyes, lean my head on it and pretend we are embracing. What will I do when it no longer smells? When I can no longer trace you that way?
I look at photos now and I’m pretty sure that I’m starting to get it all slightly wrong and that if you should walk into the room right now, I’d be just a little surprised at how I’ve been picturing you slightly eschew.
I want to believe that line is still there. I want to believe that when your physicality is out of my grasp- your scent and stature- that the imprint, love’s milieu, the feeling of looking into your eyes, will still be with me.
And I also want to tell you, that yes, you are the greatest man I’ve known.