What is there to sing about anymore? (WIP)
|I woke up today and I could heard the birds singing. What is there to sing about anymore? The sun was peeking in through the curtains. It reminded me that the world is still moving along like nothing happened. Like nothing has changed. I got up and tacked the curtains to the wall so the light couldn’t seep into my room and remind me that I’m still here. I’m still here. I’m here alone. Alone.
I tried to go back to sleep but my head was full already. Your voice fades in and out and I can’t control it. I never want it to leave but sometimes I think I might be forgetting the way your accent poked out when you said certain words. I see your face smiling and the sparkle in your eyes that shone brighter than the goddamn sunlight that hit me this morning. Maybe it was afternoon. I don’t know anymore. Your soft, white t-shirt is on your side of the bed. It still smells like you and it feels like poison every time I breathe it in but I can’t bring myself to move it. It’s your spot. It was your spot. It should be your spot. You should be here.
My ribs feel like they’re cracking when I try to take deep breaths to calm myself the way everyone says I should. All I can taste in my mouth is the bitter acidity of words I wanted to say to you. Sometimes I whisper them to your shirt. Sometimes I scream them at the ceiling. They still burn my throat on the way up.
I have more pills to help me get back to sleep but my water glass is empty and my mouth is dry. When I get to the kitchen I stop and stare at the knife block. I wonder how they would feel. I turn on the tap and fill up my glass, plus an extra one just to save myself another trip. On my way back to my room I see myself in the mirror. A ghost. No. No, I’m not that lucky. A ghost is dead but I’m still alive. Alive without you.
When I finally start drifting off again I swear I can feel you touching my arm.
I had a dream about you. We were back in that little no-name town we stopped in on our first road trip. I saw that old blue car you had when we met. Remember how you wore that vest even though I thought you looked like some 90s cowboy? In the dream we were outside the gas station and I had my soda. It was warm and the world felt golden. You walked up to me, with those red sunglasses, and hugged me. I swear on everything that I felt it. I still felt it when I woke up. When I opened my eyes I was looking at the dark ceiling of our bedroom, not the sun bouncing off of your hair. Why did I wake up? Why do I ever wake up?
I wonder how many days I’ve been sleeping for. The birds singing didn’t make me angry this morning. They actually made me want to look out the window. I saw the world today and I didn’t resent it for continuing to exist.
Your mom called me a couple of hours ago to check in. She sounds broken but her voice was stable. More stable than I think mine was. I convinced her that I was fine and she didn’t need to visit. I took a shower and used your soap. I sat on the floor of the tub and cried. Then a switch turned off in me and my tears dried up with my emotions and I felt empty again. I ate toast but I couldn’t taste it. Time to sleep again. I hope I see you in my dreams. I hope I stay in my dreams with you forever and don’t have to wake up in this room alone again.
Today was it. The day I wanted to pretend would never come. I fucking hate funerals and I hate being around people crying but this time I didn’t hate it. I don’t know if I felt one single genuine emotion when I looked at anything other than the picture of your smiling face. Someone commended me for being strong and not crying. I didn’t say anything to her. People told stories about you and when the service was over we went to the basement of the church for refreshments. It struck me as odd. I guess people needed to water down their grief with tiny sandwiches and coffee. They played your favourite songs. They didn’t sound the same without you singing along. Your voice was the most beautiful melody of soul and passion I have ever heard. Everything is dull. Dull, boring, colourless. I got a headache. I don’t know if it was from the fluorescent lights in the basement or the pressure of the dam threatening to explode behind my eyes.
People I barely know hugged me and said they were sorry. One woman had the nerve to say it was “such a terrible shame and such a waste of life” that you were gone so young, as if I didn’t already know it. As if you could have planned it. I guess you could have been smarter or safer or different, but would you have really been you then? No. You lived like you couldn’t die. You experienced everything so vividly and your life hit its crescendo too early for my liking but I don’t think you’d regret it. You saw and felt things I never dreamed of until you showed them to me. I thought I was alive before I met you but I realized very quickly that I wasn’t. You showed me how to live and then you left. I adore you and I hate you. You gave me the best times of my life and disappeared before we could finish our journey together. Before we could get old and dislocate our hips trying to dance to your hippie music in the living room, or go on another road trip, or create little versions of us to raise. I have nothing left of you but these material things that you didn’t give a shit about. I wish someone had turned off the music. It made me want to throw up. It was empty. The world is empty but it hasn’t realized it yet.
I took a bath today. I think I sat in the tub for 15 minutes before I realized I hadn’t even turned the water on. When I finally turned the knob on the faucet I had to stare at the rising steam to make sure it was real because the regular gushing sound didn’t make it to my ears. All I could hear was your laugh. Your voice. You. I tried to see how long I could hold my breath. I waited, while small ripples distorted the ceiling above me, until dark spots started creeping into the corners of my vision. When I sat back up, I could feel my razor blade taunting me. I pulled my knees up to my chest and imagined you sitting on the other side of the tub, splashing me and laughing. Did I tell you how much I loved your laugh? Did you know just how much I adored you? I’d give anything to be able to say it to you. Just to remind you one last time that you’re everything I didn’t know I needed. Everything I still need.