My Dearest Friend,
How are you on this bright Sunday morning? How do you spend your time in Heaven? Are the streets lined with gold as the scriptures suggest? Or is your Heaven more tailored to you? I imagine the roads to be made of soft dirt, like the ones we spent our child hoods playing on. I can see you swinging on an old porch swing, all the while looking out on the horizon, planning your day. A little fishing, perhaps? A good book, maybe? I envision your heaven to be a subtle one, less glam than the one the good book refers to.
I thought about you the other night. I was jolted awake by a sharp pain somewhere in my torso. My mind, struggling to locate where my body was, found a noise tapping against the window. When I had fully awakened, I realized it was sleeting outside. Just the thought of the frigid temperatures made me shudder and I quickly pulled the covers around me tighter. Unable to fall back into a slumber, my mind conjured you up.
And that's when the loneliness and sadness set it.
I know that time is a silent thief. It takes memories and runs with them, never leaving a clue behind as to where it is going. Or where it's hiding them. Had I known in the years of our friendship that I was going to lose you like I did, I would have photographed you ever chance I got. I can not remember what you look like. My dreams of you, once vivid and in color, are now dull and gray. You are a shadow, a voice spoken offstage, that I can not see. How can a person who once met the world to someone become nothing more than less than a memory? And now that I can not remember you, it is like I am grieving all over again.
I can recall experiences with you. I remember how you held me at night, wrapping your arms around me, telling me that my hair was in your way and how you'd threaten to cut it while I slept. We would laugh, and when I tried to move away, you would only hold me tighter.
But, what color was your hair?
I remember standing at the bathroom sink, fresh from the shower, clothed in only a towel. My hair was dripping wet and I was just about to perform my daily hair routine. You stood in the doorway. Watching me. Studying me.
"You're beautiful Wes," you said.
How handsome were you? Did you turn heads when you walked into a room? I want to say you did. But, I can not recall exactly. My eyes are brown. Weren't yours......blue?
I don't know why this is so important to me. I can recall, without much effort, our many times together. So what if I can not say how big your cheeks were. I know you were tall. Taller than me. I know, because I remember looking up at you and shaking my fist in your face many times. I remember you throwing your head back and laughing at me.
You always laughed at me.
And I remember your laugh. Deep. Loud. It would start in your gut and rise up like lava bursting out of a volcano. It was musical. It startled me the first time I heard it. The first time you laughed at me, I felt how personal your laugh was and how you ought not share it with just anyone. I thought you to be too open. Too vulnerable with it. I wanted you to keep that laugh of yours hidden from others. Not everyone deserved to hear it. When I tried to explain this to you, you just laughed even harder.
"Look at the pot calling the kettle black," you'd say.
We spent hours on that subject, didn't we? Me being so open. Me wearing my heart on my sleeve. I try to cover it up. I try to be the stoic individual, but I get lost when I attempt to be who I'm not. My emotions tend to swim within me, they invade my mind, making the simplest task the most difficult. So, I let everything go. Free my mind of whatever it needs to be unburdened of. I speak and lay waste to the unsuspecting victim that is standing nearby. I pray they are strong enough to hear the words that I must speak. To shoulder the message that I must convey. A lot of times they aren't.
That might explain the reason I'm alone a lot.
But, I could always talk to you. No matter what was on my mind, I could say the words to you and you would hear them. You would digest the message with ease. But, more importantly, you would give me feedback. You knew that was what I craved. Feedback. Dialogue. Someone to keep my ball rolling.
I just wish I could remember what you looked like while doing it.
A funny thing has been occurring at work these past couple of weeks. My imagination has been cutting into my day job. It has been knocking on my mind's door and refusing to go away. Worse than a cop serving warrants, it knocks, then when I refuse to answer, it beats on my mind, until I drag out a sheet of paper and begin to write whatever it has to say. Sometimes it's just a couple of lines that seem to make up nothing. Other times it's a whole poem that speaks volumes of where I'm at in my life. My imagination seems to resent my day job and I can't blame it. I have been lazy when it comes to writing lately.
Lazy in my depression anyways.
I hate that I can't conjure you up like I used to. I'm sure that it's best that I can't. I'm sure there's a blessing hidden somewhere in all this mess of grieving. After all, it's been over a year. Surely, I should have let your soul rest by now. Surely, these letter should have stopped by now. Surely, I can say you're in a better place.
I miss you so much at times that I can not even speak. It is like my soul has stepped out of my body and wanders aimlessly. And how awful is it that it continues to search for you. I long to be whole again. To be able to rest. To feel complete and not out of sorts like I'm the only one that daydreams monsters into existence.
If only I could remember what you looked like. Maybe then I would feel a little better. A little more whole.