I wish you were here to see this. I know you would have a story to tell, an anecdote to recall, and that the artist in you would find the whole thing beautiful even in the danger and devastation. I remember that night in Elko when we burnt that entire pack of cigarettes, just to watch them burn, and you kept telling me that even these disgusting things had a sort of beauty in their ashes.
I find myself missing you more as an adult than I ever could have imagined missing you as the headstrong teenager you knew. At the time, I thought I would never stop hurting… I thought the pain of loosing you would be unbearable and that your shadow would follow me. I was right, and yet I had no idea.
I didn’t know that I would miss you while sleeping beside another, that in my dreams I am always back in some random hotel room along the Nevada highway naked between crisp white sheets, my legs interwoven with yours. In the final moments before sleep when you would sing to me, your voice heavy with fatigue and your words slurred slightly I felt at peace… a peace I have never felt again.
Its been ten years, but I still feel you near me. It’s the movement out of the corner of my eye, the shadow that doesn’t really belong, the sound of someone breathing nearby… and if I just move fast enough, if I just look close enough I know I will see you.
Funny, its not the big moments when I need you. Graduations, weddings, long lonely nights in the hospital… in these moments there were plenty of other people, plenty of other distractions and when I thought of you it was with a vague sense that really you should be there, but the fact that you weren’t simply slipped by, the almost unnoticed movement of fabric between fingers.
No, I need you most on quiet nights like tonight. I miss you in tiny dressing rooms while trying on something pretty for the man who’s affection I hope to inspire. I miss you when I open a bottle of red wine and breathe in the first musky aroma. I miss you when I slip into daydreams while bagging groceries. I miss you when I see the sunset.