HBD, Richard

Every day.

Every day I think of you. How can I not? Every day, I look at a map of the world and imagine you in it. Every day, I see your face in a frame and laugh a little bit. Tuesday, when I mumbled, “repatriation of remains” to the parents at my info session. Yesterday, when I said, “and Taiwan” to a sociology professor during chitchat.

Morbidly, I’ve been waiting for this week all year. How will it feel; how will I be? I am the same, and I am not the same. I feel the same, and I feel very differently. I’m sad today. I did not think twenty-one would be a hard age for you to achieve. Why would I have thought otherwise? You  know.

“because a powerful rhetoric insists we can only be delivered from our old scars by tolerating new ones.”

You’re not a scar. I don’t want to simplify you with sentiment. I want

“Perhaps if we say it straight, we suspect, if we express our sentiments too excessively or too directly, we’ll find we’re nothing but banal.”

You’re gone and I miss you and I wanted more time with you. I didn’t know it then, but I know it now. It’s hard this week, the double whammy, your birthday and the day you died, so close together, back to back, forcing one to color the other, forcing both to rely on the other. I guess I’m glad I knew you, although it doesn’t feel like a badge of honor most days. Most days it feels like a strange strange memory. It feels like I left the theater before the ending credits. I’m hanging and I’ll always be hanging and that’s how it feels. I’m not sad like I was that day. I hope I’m not that sad again for a long, long, long time. Or ever. I know the words to say because they’ve been said before, but they don’t mean anything to me. You mean something to me. I guess that’s all I want to say, directly. I guess even when I’m not saying it, I’m saying it. I want you to hear me say it, even when I don’t. I want you to know, to always know. To never forget, to never assume, to never think it’s better. It’s different. It’s changed, but it will never be better. It can never be better, but it will always be. That’s it–in excess.


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