32 years ago, we sat beside a river.
Adolescent love; hand in hand. Snow fell. Conversation froze; breath caught, suspended.
She spoke of tests; a brutal admission triggering thirteen months of unwinnable battles. I lived my lifetime stuck in that conversation. And drank my coward’s death in her results.
Her reality taught me to always raise a toast. To send that letter. Answer any call. To go running after love, even in the rain. Constantly embracing the ridiculous– and never fucking letting go. Anything to make time matter.
So we chased the stars together.
We crashed; we fell. We flew back up together. We burned back down.
We danced across the belly of an Indiana skyline. Believed in naked earth kissing bare feet. Felt the rhythm of combustion; we inhaled fire. And touched the faces of old gods together.
We defied norms. Broke expectations. We played… loved… sang together. We studied each other; saw each other in ways no one else could.
We became lost in the art; choreographed lessons brushed soft against hard words. We celebrated the scorch of originality; ignored boundaries and crossed strange frontiers.
We lingered; we laughed. We bared blushing skin and bruised whispered confessions; debated outcomes and transcended diagnoses.
We fought battles. And drank bottles. Felt loss; cried tears of weighted memory and suffered together. We bled; agonized and lamented together.
We stumbled into meaningful sanctuary; caressed brief remission from constant erosion. We collided in charted appointments. And found salvation amongst the gentler angels of better intentions.
The one thing we never did was say goodbye. We just couldn’t stop missing each other long enough to find the words.
So I am caught still missing her, forever.
No more chasing; no more stars. No more fun. Just the stark brutality of crushing silence. And a barren stage upon which my tiny dancer used to glide, nimbly.
32 years later I sit alone beside that same river. Hiding in a bottle. And waiting patiently for her snow to fall and come kiss me that last long goodnight.