Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Shower Curtain Girl

Little sweetheart, I have a series of beautiful photos of you in the soft daylight streaming through the bathroom in your apartment in the Inner Sunset. You took them in front of the shower curtain there, a montage of images of old Hollywood movie stars. My favorite of these photos is enlarged to poster size, framed and hanging in our bedroom.

But it also reminds of another wonderful memory of you.

Sometimes after you’d closed the door and I’d hear the water running as you were washing your hair or something, I’d hear you call out my name (it brings me to tears just to think of that sound - my name on your lips - is there anything, any sound more blessed?). You’d forgotten something. Maybe you needed a new bottle of conditioner or something and you’d ask me to retrieve it from the hallway closet (even as I type this I can remember perfectly the smell, the smell inside that little linen closet of yours).

I’d find whatever it was that you needed and bring it to you, standing under the cascading stream of hot water. You’d peak around the show curtain, your sweet beautiful smiling face and I’d lean in to kiss you, your hair wet, your skin warm and aglow from the heat.

What a wonderful memory, my little sweetheart. I’m so blessed to have it so very close to me, so close that I can nearly touch evert sensation, nearly touch our life, nearly touch you.

Thank you, my little sweetheart, for finding me. Please let me know that you are near me today and every day. And take me to you the moment heaven will allow. With all my love forever.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Carrying the Torch

Little sweetheart, I was thinking of something the other day, a very dark time in those first months after your tragic passing.

There was an old Todd Rundgren song from his double-album Something/Anything. I’d known the record well for years and used to listen to it a lot once winter when I was living in basement in DC. It had been in heavy rotation then.

One track, a very mournful, sad tune filled with longing and regret came to mind here one day, in a new far darker light. A track called Torch Song. It builds and builds to a climax of grief expressed in the words “somewhere in the back of mind it’s there/and every day it finds me and reminds me.”

I sat here at my desk that day, little sweetheart, playing it over and over and just weeping, wailing, keening, shaking with grief. Some might say I was nearly torturing myself but it’s so hard to unwrap everything.

Sometimes the pain, I think, is hard to let go of because there’s a feeling that even inside the pain itself there is something of your essence, of your presence and I would rather die than to ever let go of that, let go of you.

I think you try to teach and comfort me and guide me, though. To know that you are near and that the pain is not you, the memory is, but maybe not the ache exactly. Please help me to know, little sweetheart. And to do good in all things as you would have me. I love you with all my heart and soul. Forever. Forever. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Forgetting Any Other Home But You

Little sweetheart, I was doing my home care yesterday - the physical therapy exercises I have been given to do here on days between sessions, to rehabilitate my shoulder post-surgery - and in the middle of them I thought of something and quickly wrote down a note to remind myself: “talking about and reciting ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with Summer”.

Acting and the theatre seem so far away from me now, little sweetheart, so unimportant in light of the light that you are, that guides and blesses my life. But I remember so clearly talking with you about the play and reading it to one another over the phone in the first days when I was here in New York and you in San Francisco and longing for you so (as I do now).

How impatient we both were to be in one another’s arms again and how the phone had to do for the moment, however inadequate. I’d sit for hours either in the kitchen floor with the old landline or laying on the plaid couch in the front room with my bottom of the line Nokia (the free phone they’d give you for signing up) balanced on my ear talking to you for hours every night, usually three hours at the least.

In one of those early epics calls between you being here and my being there or both of us being somewhere else together, we began speaking lines of the play’s dialogue to each other from memory. I’d played Romeo in school and you’d done a proper production of it at a company in Oregon shortly after you’d graduated from Oxford.

The lines that came to mind last night “letting me forget any other home than this” (“home” meaning you) flooded forward and I remembered the ache and wonder of speaking them to you and hearing you reply as we poured them out to one another until you reached a passage and said that we needed to stop there because the next lines were something you could only say when I was within your reach and you gazing intently into my eyes, your voice an impassioned whisper of truth and love.

How I long for you my little sweetheart! How blessed I am to have ever been found by you! Please don’t go too far away. Please let me know that you are near and hear me. And please take me to you soon and forever, the very moment that heaven will allow. With all my love.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Reason We're Here

Little sweetheart, I’m working hard on the new album and my physical therapy too, as I’ve told you, and finally at the end of the day, sometime around 9pm or so, I’ll watch an hour or two of something (often The West Wing because it brings you close in my memory and comforts me) before I say my prayers for you and us and finally go to bed.

I was watching last night when something made me decide to look at something else, something new, a kind of talk show on Netflix. It was amusing and king of mindless but then Drew Barrymore came on and I was more interested because she always makes me think of you.

In part, I think it’s because you had that picture of her in fairy wings clipped from a magazine as part of the collage you’d made and hung in your bedroom in Davis while in high school. It had all your heroes and referenced your friends and family and dreams of life. When I finished the band’s first album for you, Of Love and Loss, I made a collage myself filled with photos and memorabilia, your pictures and words and you and I together. We took it to the roof and snapped high res photos of it so it could be reproduced as a poster included within the folds of the double-CD. And the collage itself - filling an entire large cork board - graces the red table room always, the center of the shrine as you are the center of my life.

But anyway… Drew Barrymore.

Like a lot of things, I never had given her much thought until you brought her to my mind. And then I saw how her kindness and genuineness reminded me so very much of you. On this show there were several instances that brought that and you to mind but maybe above all was an exchange where she said what a blessing it is to have interactions with each other, if even only in a moment at the grocery store when you look into another person’s eyes and speak to one another. To have that opportunity to share kindness and lift each other up.

I think more than anything, little sweetheart, this is the most important thing I learned from you - how you told me that you knew why you were on earth and that it was simply to love, to share your love with others.

What a treasure, what a blessing you are, little sweetheart. And how I long and aspire to do as you would have me and to be more and more like you each day. Please help and guide me, my little sweetheart. I love you with all my heart and soul. And I’m listening. Always. Always.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Light Eternal

Little sweetheart, yesterday as I was writing about you, writing about our first trip to London together, I suddenly smelled wax and a faint puff of smoke and I knew that the candle before your picture, two rooms away, had just burned out and you were telling me it was time to go light a new one.

I love how thoroughly I felt your presence in that moment and others - memory flooding forward with thoughts of you and all senses doubtless heightened because of that, perception deepening.

Please let me know you’re near, my little sweetheart. Please don’t go too far away. And please take me to you the moment heaven will allow.

With all my love forever.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The More That Simply Is

Little sweetheart, it’s four months since getting hit by the car and I only just today thought of something...

Both events - getting hit and two weeks later having the pulmonary embolism - happened on a Tuesday. And the latter, when my heart stopped for ten minutes was Tuesday May 8th, so very like the tragic accident that took you from me, which happened on Tuesday March 8th.

Numbers sometimes surround me in strange ways, little sweetheart. Some numbers will just very insistently come into my head. Often the angel numbers - eleven eleven - will appear as I glance at a clock. Or sometimes I’ll wonder what time it is while out walking, say the time out loud, then walk past a parking meter to find that is the exact time precisely.

Numbers and birdsong and glancing celestial light striking objects. A watch, long stopped, that begins suddenly ticking again, awakened. Dreams where you appear to me. All these things continue to confirm and comfort me with the knowledge that there is so much just beyond my grasp or sight or apprehension that nonetheless is. And I know I’ll be with you again soon and forever.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

In Every Way

Often, little sweetheart and I tell others (and even more often tell myself, indeed pray) that I long to be more like you. To be as brave and kind and wise and generous and just to be the man you wanted and were helping me to become - and still are helping me become!

How could I know that in so many other ways I would also become more like you. Doing things you had to but weren’t exactly crazy about. Three weeks in the hospital was not my idea of trying to be more like you but it happened and helped me understand things yet deeper.

Because of the pulmonary event, little sweetheart, I have to take a medication for six months (I’ve got two months left). Twice a day I have to take this little pill. Sometimes I would take it but couldn’t quite remember if I had. I’d carefully empty the bottle and count the pills to see if there was an odd or even number of them left to confirm.

On my phone I’ve set up an alarm. It goes off an hour before and again at the five minute mark - 9:55 (I have to take the pill twice a day, at 10am and 10 pm) - before it’s time.

And it was only yesterday that I thought how that’s, of course, something that you had to do twice a day. That I even have your big weekly pill box with all the compartments sorted by day to remind you and that you traveled with and finally left in London on our last trip there but I made sure to bring home with me.

Again, the note to self - “Take Pill!” - is me being like you. I’ve a piece of paper that says “take pill” on one side and “took pill” on the other and I flip it over to remind me and confirm.

In every way, even these prosaic ones, I guess, I seek and find myself to be more and more like you, my true love, my best friend, my little sweetheart.