The Last Time

I remember her and I know she remembers me and we will continue to do so forever. There is no other way for us to live. I could try to forget her or her me, but I know I will fail so what am I to do except breathe and curse the air that continues to give me life?..

…wait! What is happening?.. I know all of us have wished our souls could roam free, void of everything, filled with nothing, searching for the something that will keep us rested, but I did not imagine this… Never did I imagine this… Please!.. Someone, help me!

*I lay my head on the hard frame*

My everything, you have never been nothing because nothing is void of something and you are exactly the thing I started this sentence out with – my everything. You are the love inside my heart. You are the heart that feeds my soul. You are my world. You are the galaxy that I am trapped in. You are my entirety, and infinite we become whenever we hold onto one another…

…how did I get here?.. When you are someone’s everything, you have a lot to live up to, which includes disappointment which turns into forgiveness which gives way to closure… but those rules do not matter now! This feeling is different!.. I need to know… I need to find myself… again.

*A tear builds in my eye but I blink it dry*

My event horizon, you slowly pull me into your portal, which will immediately close as soon as I enter you because no other space warrior deserves to explore you but me and you’re fine with that and for good reason because no man has braved the spatial abyss that is you and mapped it out as delicately as I have. If I have to disappear from here just to be with you then that is the journey I am willing to take…

…how much time has passed? I am haunted here… everywhere my glassy eyes look… everywhere my light weight body turns… everywhere I go… everywhere I hide… you’re there and shouldn’t be but I cannot rid myself of you and I dare not chase you away because I’d rather stalk your footsteps than not have you at all.

*I dig my fingernails into the brace that is currently holding me up*

My dark haired beauty, your hair as black as the inside of a used chimney stack yet more nostalgic than watching the aurora borealis while eating a fresh cupcake, I lose myself when I’m around you. You’d let me claim your foreign territory as mine as long as I kicked my shoes off at the back door and showered off before I jumped into your messy bed…

nostalgia… it hurts… so bad… Please take it away!?! Please? This pain… this unresolve!.. Nothing about this is fair!.. Especially your sad glances!.. Don’t look at me!.. Stop! Don’t look at me like this… Look away!.. Come back after this nightmare turns back into a dream turns back into a livable reality.

*I do not feel like myself nor ever will I if I cannot see you sometime soon*

The last time we ate dinner, she almost knocked her glass of tea over. She caught it just in time then blew air out of her mouth. Our eyes locked in that moment of an almost ‘uh-oh’. She giggled out of embarrassment and vulnerability. I became susceptible to her ways and wanted to abandon our main course for a quick dessert. She was hungry and had a headache and I kept my feelings to myself. I now realize that I am a fool. I should have been more selfish when it came to her…

…please, help me!.. Please!.. I’m begging you!.. I’m asking you to reach out to me! I need your help, like always.. Don’t look away!.. I didn’t mean that when I said it. I’m just angry… Please stay!.. Don’t leave!.. Please?.. I’d do anything to hold you!.. We both know this is not right!

*I lose myself in the moment. My soul has never felt as empty as it currently does*

My sunrise, you let me know that it is okay to open my eyes and start my day. You let me know when I need to wind it down because you slowly close that flaming orb over the western horizon and open your other glowing eye to guide me through the darkness. That is when the demons come after me because I start missing you more than ever. I find myself damning everything that exists, including my memories of you…

..why.. does.. it.. hurt so bad? Huh? I’m not supposed to feel this way!.. My heart is breaking!.. Better yet! It is completely broken!.. I do not like this!.. Not one iota of me accepts this!.. Life is not meant to be this hard… The separation. The disconnect. The discord… God, why?.. What did I do that was so bad?… Huh?… Tell me!

*I lay my face on my prop. Nothing I am experiencing feels real*

My full moon, that is so bright that I do not need any other lights because you are all the illumination that I require for the next couple of hours, I can feel the warmth of your light. I want to wrap myself inside this viscosity like a sleeping bag in the open arctic wilderness. I want to bathe in these beams as though I am standing under a cool waterfall on a hot day. You made me wish I had a rocket so I could shoot myself in your direction and be closer to you in the heavens, even if it is just for one night…

..I ..can’t ..touch ..I ..want! Where did we go wrong?.. Where did I go wrong?.. How do I make this better? Tell me, and I swear to God, I will do it!.. All we need to do is talk… All we need to do is wake up and realize that we are together in the bed and that will be that!.. We are fine!.. We are okay!.. Right?

*Someone taps my shoulder but I ignore them*

My first star that lights the sky and makes all the other stars apprehensive on when they should start twinkling so they do so just so she will not get all the attention, you turn heads and will do so until the world is no more. The beauty of the stars is the fact that we think we know what they are but we do not because we have never been to space and can only take what the scientists assume them to be and I’d rather find true beauty in an unknown mystery than really know what that something is anyway. She is my mystery, eating a hole through my soul…

…I …I need to find… a way… I need to see us together again but I know I… It will help mend my heart… Our hearts… It will do both of us good to touch one another… If my eyes were not so blurry and my body was so – stuck… What is happening?… Wake up out of this nightmare!.. All I need to do is wake up and.

*I can feel her, but I shrug it off because now is not the time*

The last time we danced, it was in our kitchen one night. We had just cleaned the dishes and hung the hand towels over the oven handle. A familiar song came over the bluetooth speaker on the counter. I snuck up behind her and made her face me with gentle forcefulness. A Strawberry Pound Cake three wick candle bounced light off the shadows. The clocks stood still. Our hormones did not. We left a trail of clothes all the way into the living room…

…wait, my eyes… my body… my… emotions… is this real?.. I mean, is this really real?.. If it is, where did?.. What happened?.. Oh no! Oh no, oh no! This was not supposed to happen!.. No, no, no!.. Oh God! I take it back! All of it!.. I take it back!.. Not like this! Not like… this.

*People are looking at me! I ignore them*

My muse when it comes to everything, when I watch you bathe, when you prepare the house for my arrival home from work, when you take my glasses off after I fall asleep, when you turn the television off because I forgot to set the timer, when you scoot over next to me before you fall asleep, I shudder to think that my sculpture could ever stand in your museum. I slowly crumble at knowing what used to be. Who I used to be. Who you used to be…

..I ..I ..I can’t do this!.. I don’t want to do this!.. I need us back like we used to be… Whatever happened, whatever went wrong, whatever separated us, it does not know what it has done!.. I cannot accept this!.. I’d do anything to be back in the bed at our house… I want to be back by your side… This is not right…

*I squeeze my eyes together, hard. I push the world away*

My fairest queen in all of the land because you love and put up with me, I’d charge a thousands armies with a dull sword just so you could have a couple of seconds head start from any harm that is headed your way. We were meant to be explorers in a desolate land and we were going to claim that land as ours and build our life in the place where no one else’s eyes were. All of that seems like a lie now, and it makes me wish I had never met you…

…I’m …I’m …so cold yet so warm but I can’t help but be confused and angry and frustrated and not at peace because I do not want to be here and want to be in your embrace and not in the clutches of this loneliness… If my eyesight wasn’t so hazy right now, I’d find my way back to you… …back to your arms… …back to where I belong!.. We met for a reason. Don’t think otherwise!.. Please?

*My hands grip the polished railing so I do not lose my balance*

My sense of home, you are the feeling I get when I finish showering and forgot that I hung a fresh crinkly towel to dry off in and when I put my face into it it smells like a piece of heaven fell down to earth and I lose myself for a moment and realize I would not have that towel if you would not have washed and dried it for me. I’m even luckier if, while I’m showering, you sneak in between the curtains of this world and our alternate reality and join me for a warm, divine escape…

…wait… is this..? No!.. God, no! What has happened? I… Please!.. Please!.. I do not want to be alone! Oh my God, what has happened?.. My eyes cannot believe what they are… This cannot be… this cannot be the new us!.. ‘Baby?.. Can you hear me wherever you are?’.. I just want… …but I can’t.

*I rub one hand over my face and wipe my mouth with the other hand*

The last time we dove into each other, one would think I was lying if I said sex was not involved. You and I were bare skinned like two freshly peeled potatoes. I took the tip of my nose and traced invisible lines over her neck and shoulders. She took her fingers and mapped different waypoints on my body. We found our way back to one another without having to use a single word, our bodies gripping like fresh tires trying to latch onto a wet highway. Never did we have to worry about missing one another because that was never going to be an option…

*A friend taps my shoulder. I continue to stare at the wooden capsule in front of me*

“Hey.. I’m not trying to bother you, but.. ..we need to start the service now. Everyone is seated and.. the funeral directors aren’t trying to be rude but they cannot delay but for so long.. It’s time, buddy.. We are here for you during this, man, we really are… Okay?…

…I, …I did not want to die yet!.. What happened?.. How did I end up here?.. God, please tell him I’m right here beside him and that I’m never going to leave him… Tell him I’m not really dead and this is just a dream and all we have to do is wake up and everything will be okay… Baby!.. Look at me! Don’t let them take you away from me… I’m not ready to go!…

*I put my ear up to her casket. I could have sworn that I just heard her. I swear I just felt her. I know she is nearby. I listen for a heartbeat. I swear I can hear one*

My love, I do not want this to be the last time. I want more times. I want infinite times. I miss your love. I miss your passion. I miss our talks. Our giggles. Our moments that froze time and made us stand still… I’m lost… so very lost. I’m scared I’ll never be the same.

After today, I’ll just be a wandering vagabond without a home to call my own because you were my home and there was nowhere I’d rather be than by your side… I love you, so, so much… I love you now… I love you yesterday… I love you forever… You hear me, dammit?.. You hear me?..

Babe, I love you more than you will ever know… You made me so happy and I miss my safety net so much right now… You were my everything… Are my everything… I do not know what went wrong… All I remember is falling asleep beside you one moment and then I wake up here…

I hate this!.. I hate not being able to tell you the things that I need to say – the things that I should have said… Please don’t leave me!.. Please!.. I’m begging you!.. Don’t let go yet!.. I’ll find my way back to you. I swear I will… God, not like this!.. Not this way!

*I take one last glance at her then slowly step away. I feel like I’m abandoning her. I know I will never be this close to her body after she is laid to rest*

The death split couple continues to think over the best memories they have stored in their brain.

The widowed lover thinks about the last food fight they had. The ghost thinks about the time they laid a blanket under a cumulus cloud filled sky and watched them pass as the breeze tickled their bodies. The lover thinks about the last time they cuddled on the couch and watched a movie as a nearby fire danced in the fire place and sent a flickering light over his lover’s exposed skin. The ghost thinks about the time she wanted a milkshake so bad late one night that they hopped in his truck, them wearing nothing but pajamas, and drove to the nearest drive-thru.

*The organist starts playing a hymn. They escort me to my seat. All I can do is stare at her shell*

My love, I will search for you until I find you again. That place where you are, I will be there with you and we will pick up where we left off and continue with this journey that was interrupted…

I want you to haunt me. Okay? Please! Don’t ever quit whispering in my ear. Don’t ever quit breathing on my neck. Don’t ever quit touching me! You already possess my heart, mind, and soul. I miss you! I miss you so damn much!…

babe, please don’t let me go!.. You made me feel like the most special queen in all of the land! I miss the way you looked at me, whether it was in the rising light of the sun, the dimming beams of a beautiful sunset, or the waxing waning luminosity of whatever stage the moon was in…

This moment has made me very sad and angry and I know our story does not end like this… We will be together again, and I will wait!.. I will wait for you patiently like I have done my entire life before I met you, and one day my ghost and your ghost will reunite and we will haunt this realm!.. I will wait!.. For you!.. Always!..

*A close friend starts the service. I look at the pamphlet handout. I look at her smiling photo and a poem I wrote for her. It hurts to look at her coffin. I know if I do not absorb this image now then I will miss it forever, like I already do with her. I curse life for having to battle such a condescending thing as death*

The last time I was actually happy was the past however many years we spent together. There were downs with the ups, but… the last time… the last memory that sticks out in my mind…

We were outside, by the pool, on our little plot of private land. You slid out of your wet bikini bottom and top. Before you wrapped the towel around you, I snuck in for a quick kiss because, well, what fool wouldn’t? You tasted like sweat and honey. You air dried for a couple of minutes before you covered yourself. You sat in the sun so your hair could dry.

You looked over at me and mouthed the words,

‘I love you’,

knowing good and well that you could have said them out loud but, instead, you chose a whisper. You then turned your head back to the direction of the sun, closed your eyes, and absorbed the warmth. All I did was look at you for hours on end knowing, if I went to where you currently lay, unwrapped you, and slid between your legs, what your reaction would be.

You are my shrine… Forever… Don’t forget about me wherever you are, love, because I’m not going to forget about you… We will meet up again… One day!.. Right?..

*A funny story about you makes the audience giggle in a reverent way. I am far from being able to laugh about anything. All I can do is force myself not to run up to your casket, open it, grab you up in my arms, and run out of the doors and to one of our safe spots and hope your ghost jumps back into its shell*

the last time I was actually happy was the past however many seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years we spent together. I felt safe and secure with you, loved beyond measure, and you did your best to make sure all my dreams came true, but… the last time… the last memory that sticks out in my head was my birthday.

When I rounded the corner to the kitchen, you were nude, wearing only an apron, cooking breakfast for me at the stove. You motioned with your eyes for me to sit at the bar. You poured me a cup of coffee and placed it in front of me. I took a quick sip and savored the warm hazelnut liquid careening down my throat. I was distracted, especially whenever I looked over at you and could see your pale butt cheeks.

You still had not spoken a word to me yet. When you turned around from the stove, you had a rose clenched between your teeth and slowly lowered your face and delivered it to me with your mouth. I took it gently from your lips and then you whispered the phrase,

‘I love you,’

even though you could have spoken it out loud. I was mesmerized, as I am with all the other things you have done for me over the course of our lives. We spent the rest of the day lounging around the pool and warming our bodies under the heat of the sun, our personal dying star. It was a perfect day.

Wherever you are, that is where my temple is, baby… Forever!.. Don’t forget about me wherever you go, love, because I am not going to forget about you… We will cross paths again, one day, maybe?.. Hopefully!.. Right?

*Your first remembrance song begins to play. I remember the last time we slow danced to this song in our kitchen. A glimmer appears above your casket. I get excited, rub my eyes, and realize it is a tear that has formed in the corner of them. I close my eyes. I see you and I wonder,

can you see or hear me right now,

a question that will plague me for as long as I live.

* * * * * * * * * *

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The Naked and Famous – Rolling Waves

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