What would I say if I could say anything at all? I've written this open letter in my head, over a hundred thousand times in a year. The words fall flat. It all comes down to a simple phrase, that I don't have the opportunity to say.
I miss you.
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you. So much sometimes I don't even have space inside of myself to put it.
What would I tell you? I'd tell you that there has been no easy silence since you left. Other people just try to fill up the minutes. I keep looking for the Dar Williams to my Joan Baez, but the Dangling Conversation is dead. I would tell you that the easy silence was the most soothing part of our entire friendship. We just got it - no definitions, no arguments. I would tell you I trusted you, unquestioningly, and that's probably what did me in, in the end.
I would tell you that I can't drink Jasmine tea anymore. That I keep meaning to buy a copy of The Final Confession of Mabel Stark, but I keep putting it off because who would want to talk about that novel besides you?
I miss you.
The poetry. With you gone, Sparrow, there's nobody left to lament the death of the English language anymore. Nobody I can use random SiP quotes on and know it won't fall into dead space. Nobody to sing Neko Case with while sipping loose-leaf tea and talking about how Kim only bought you one good thing in your entire relationship. There's nobody who pauses, mid-conversation to write down a phrase for later use in a Happy Bunny notebook. No one who writes poetry so stark and startling and deep that it brings tears to my eyes.
I miss you. Your laughter, your lumberjack walk. Your "I'm always tired, but you're always welcome," eyes. Your, "don't knock, just come in," and bringing me leftover cream of mushroom soup in that dyke hat you so often let me borrow. I miss the chivalrous butch you only let out to play every once in a while. The comfort. The familiarity. The things we had in common. I miss that we never let each other get away with much when it came to our writing. I miss that you trusted me to take a critical eye to your genius and still threw me a Dave Matthew's Band t-shirt when the sun went down.
I miss the fact that you know at least something about everything. There was never a moment I wasn't learning. Or challenged, or stretching myself. You reflected back at me the most beautiful version of myself I have ever seen. I tried things and succeeded at things that I never thought I could even see in my worldview. As silly as walking from downtown across the walking bridge. As serious as going back to school.
I miss your special Olympian jokes. Your irreverence. Your intense quiet and the fact it never frightened me. I miss sharing Mexican while mopping the Trinitea's floor, the documentaries, and the thousands of hours of GLBTQ talk. I miss your singing. Your Moncton stories. Your "you'd love what I'm reading now."
I would tell you of how much weight I lost. How I still wish you had taught me to run. I would tell you I finally succeeded in staying broken up with Catherine. I would ask you to teach me about Pewter as only you can, seasoned with 2 years of around the world and sounding like Neruda. I would ask you to take me back to the Curry House and teach me more about world cuisine. I would tell you, even at the risk of getting beaten by your junkyard dog partner, that I miss how you sleep. The ease with which you fit into your own body. The fact that you got me without ever having to try.
I would tell you, Sparrow, that I miss you. That I never thought I could miss someone every day of my life. I wonder if you miss me too. You were always much more cryptic about how you handled that side of yourself. A dark beer, a pair of cowboy boots and an "I can sleep with my friends and never talk about it again," attitude. Heh. I would ask you - why did you handle it the way you did? We both know that you knew better.
I would tell you, throwing every ounce of caution I have inside myself to the wind, that I read "Miele". And that is exactly why I knew better. I got it - maybe that's why it shocked me so much to realize you didn't. I would ask you if it all started with you sticking your foot in your mouth, as you were often wont to do, Sparrow. lol
I would tell you I miss you. That I love you (although not in the way you seem to fear). And I would accept that there is never enough time.