You know, I never would have asked for you to hurt me this way. And if I’d had any choice in the matter, it would have been no choice at all.
If I knew how much you were going to hurt me one day, I would have spent more time creating distance between us. More of the distance that actually would have protected me, instead of the distance that was actually there, in time and space.
We hadn’t lived near each other for years. Often didn’t talk for months. But we were still close.
If I had known you weren’t going to be around forever, I never would have gotten this close to you.
I certainly wouldn’t have gotten attached like this. Not like this.
But I did. Part of my brain bought into the fantasy that I’d never lose you. That we could both be young and healthy forever, both working in our own different ways as hard as we could to make the world a bit better. Even if it were only a tiny fraction of a smithereen better. Even if what we did was far from enough to actually fix anything.
We were going to try. And we both knew that.
Every now and then, we were going to stop pretending we didn’t think about each other all the time — and have one of our incredible conversations. Where we said an awful lot without actually saying it. One of those talks when we nodded at each other and understood everything that was unsaid that resonated at that frequency that thrums through us that sounds like nothing at all or perhaps white noise to other people.
And then after that was over, we’d both go back to thinking about each other all the time but in silence.
We did that a lot. The deluded part was that I convinced myself it was going to last forever.
These are the deep connections that are hard to describe to people who haven’t had one. To people who haven’t experienced it, it doesn’t make sense that we could have such a strong mutual love and respect from a distance. Especially one that’s contending with distance in terms of both time and space — as ours often was in the decades that I knew you.
But we did.
I’m doing pretty well living without you. I suppose it helps that you didn’t really want to go. That it wasn’t your choice. But I respect you enough that I would have understood if it had been.
So yeah it hurts. Yes, it’s been a hard year because of it.
I never would have chosen this pain. I’m glad I didn’t know it was coming.