Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Dearest Friend: Something Else to Say

My Dearest Friend,

It is warm out today. I only open my latest letter to you this way because I can recall how you loathed the weather here. You used to say that this place, with its indecisive climate, frustrated you. You always spoke of moving somewhere where the seasons were true to their names. Yet, you never did. Instead, you remained close by. You understood more than I did the need I had for you. You were selfless like that.

I have yet to sleep. Morning has crept up on me without the benefit of nighttime seeing me to sleep. You have been on my mind so much. I know why it is. The anniversary of your departure is quickly approaching. I do not know how I am going to mark this occasion. Or if I should let it pass by without acknowledgment. All I do know is that the dull ache that has taken your place is still present. No matter how hard I try, I just can not pray it away.

The calendar tells me it is January. It was around this time last year that you first notified me of that ridiculous doll. The Child's Play doll. That was the object I had craved for so long. I can remember, clearly, that telephone conversation. You were up north where the winters are more determined to be cold and bitter than they are around here. You were there, in a store, and you had found it. Still in its original box. You were so excited. Giddy even. Did I want it, you asked. You already knew the answer. Just like you knew I would ask endless questions before responding. I heard your laughter ring through the phone. I envisioned you throwing your head back as the sweet sound reached my ear. Do you remember what I did with that doll? Of course you do. I forwarded it on to a sweet eight year old boy who seemed to want it more than me. When I told you that, you were so pleased to know that I had put a child's wants before my own. So pleased, in fact, that you never would tell me how much it cost.

It's those little bits of unimportant exchanges that haunt me now. The small conversations that, at the time spoken, really didn't amount to much. Now, they have taken on a life of their own. They have grown so big in importance, that they overshadow the moments that impacted my life the most. While my memory will still call forward the night you held me while I cried, it is the little moments of reassurance that keep coming back. How your laughter would engulf me. It would wrap itself around me, lifting me up, holding me close with its warmth. The looks of confusion when I would start a conversation with you without the benefit of understanding what I was speaking of.

Wes, you would say, Don't you know I can't read your mind? You're completing your thoughts out loud again.

And then you would laugh. And I would tell you that after all this time, you should be able to read my mind.

All this time. But, it wasn't really that long. Three years? Perhaps? Looking back, that period was short. Going through it, however, it seemed to stretch on forever. Time is fickle that way. It can rob you of your  ability to see things the way they really are. Reality is skewed. Altered. Time is nothing more than a bandit. Stealing our focus. Refusing to allow us to see Life for what it truly is.

Life is a playground bully. Beating us up. Taking our prized possessions. Never living up to its promises.

My dearest, sweetest friend. I have this overwhelming need to show affection. To feel my arms around a person. To breathe in their sent while I hear their heart beat. I no longer have that. It is slowly driving sadness deep into the recesses of my mind. Since you have left, I have no one. My smile has become a lie. I cry when I write. My words are hollow. Empty of meaning. Void of sincerity. I blame you for it all. Your sudden departure has been too much for me. I sometimes wonder if I have always been this fragile. Perhaps I am like a glass bulb. Hit at just the right pressure point, I will shatter.

Or, rather, I did shatter.

I must go now. Today, as warm as it promises to be in this month of coldness, sees me to different activities. Traveling here and there. I do not like to venture out much. The bookstore is the only place of solace for me now. The rows of books bring a certain peace to me. For I know, trapped within the binding, their stories will end. The characters' ordeals, their lives, will eventually be wrapped up nicely. Ending at just the right note to satisfy my need for resolution. I need this, you see. I crave this closure the same way my lungs require oxygen.

Yours Always,


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