I meant to say, I love you, Mom. I was eleven and lying on the living room floor, and she was falling apart. Crying about life, about the difficulty dealing with my youngest brother. She poured out her heart, and then she had to go.
“I love you,” she sobbed.
“Bye.” The cold cruelty in my voice startled my brother and I felt something die, inside.
I meant to say, I need to be your friend. I had been strung out on meth for weeks, maybe months… It gets fuzzy. Fifteen years old and trying to destroy the thing called me. I was desperately in love with her, Twenty-three and so much that I understood. Smart, funny, damaged. She told me that I was too young, of course I was. I told her that I couldn’t hang out with her anymore, because I couldn’t get over wanting her.
I meant to say, please don’t let me screw this up. Twenty-three and so easily destroying the only real love I had ever found, she needed me and I needed her. We fell in love together, holding hands and reading philosophy and poetry by the ocean. Making love every night and fucking every day. Innocently, desperately, with joy and enthusiasm, we loved our love. We licked it. We breathed it into each other,
and there I was on the phone, saying,
don’t come back. Inside my head I was weeping, begging the words to change, please don’t let me do this. I need to be in this love. I can’t let this happen.
But I did.
I meant to say, so many things. Death after death after death and I kept thinking of the perfect things to say, too late. Funerals and memorials and another and another and when, when, can I say the fucking words that I need to say, in the moment?
I need you, I love you, I sorry. You were so much to me, you were my favorite. I need you. I need you. I need you. I’m sorry.
Please don’t die.
Look both ways.
Take care of your health.
Go see a doctor.
Stop doing drugs.
I need you.
I meant to say, I waited my whole life for you and I screwed it up the first time but I will not, this time, thank you for loving me, today we are man and wife, woman and husband (why don’t they ever say it that way?) Today we are choosing to say,
This is us.
I meant to say,
I’m not anything special, just another survivor of childhood trauma and abuse. Just another recovered drug addict. Just another tormented writer, just another contradiction. Just another overactive mind. Just another insecure, needy, desperate fool trapped in a moderately attractive and confident man. Just another magician, using sleight-of-hand to show smiles and talent while hiding broken edges and shattered dreams. Just another depressed person, struggling with PTSD and suicidal urges. Just another day in the life of the impossible.
I meant to say, this.
What hurtles toward this collision hides yet from clarity, which reality will be left after the meeting is impossible to predict from where/why I am,
This will not be an end.
Endings are one-sided, from a place of limited perspective. For the dying the world seems to be ending, for the Walker, when the path runs out a new one must be written.
When we get there, you’ll know why we came, and so will we.
If a message is received from unknown sources, how then is the veracity of the message to be measured? Where enemies and allies have not been determined, how then will a treaty be transcribed, negotiated, collaborated?
When the well runs dry, how long do thirsty people wait before seeking an alternative source?
The arrival of new information does not always change the verdict of a trial, yet it must be allowed consideration. Fault lines are not cracks where the earth splits, rather they are laugh-lines, wrinkles left from expression, what fear cannot damage is the coming of dawn, when stars shine closely we name them and record in our ledgers how far, what size, colour and shape, yet when they are too distant we claim they have died. What is not understood is rejected.
When we get there,
we will know why we come.
You will know, also.
Dreams are not safe places. The dead beckon from across veils and accompanying them means leaving this world, he died in his sleep, and now nobody will hear the tale of the love and the loss, the romance and the comedy of a life seen from a balcony, a life lived with minimal involvement and maximum emotional investment.
Dreams are not safe, to achieve something great a great price must be paid, balance finds itself no matter how the mountainside falls, no matter how the deck tilts as the waves toss toy ships around a child’s bath, balance will be,
It must balance.
The ending is not what it seems, there will be no post-climactic wind-down. No neatly wrapped loose ends, it will be sudden and fierce, there will be nothing left and no survivors.
The beginning will not be what is believed, there will be no deafening bang, no creator speaking of light in the darkness,
There will be nothing,
And then there will be everything.
It approaches, pretty up your face
It approaches, tidy up your room
It’s coming, from the depths of outer space
It’s the bride, walkin’ to the groom