It’s one of those nights that I stay awake past 1 a.m. Not because I am expecting a call from you but because my heart is aching. The kind of nights when tears will come to my eyes and I will realize that the answer will be to write, and I will write a stream of words and sounds, the balm for my heart, the price for not journaling enough or not writing at all and realizing that the pain of not connecting with you is a night when I stay awake past 1 am with a heart that’s beating too fast and a runny nose and tears that weld dark mascara lines down my face.
They lied when they said we never say goodbye. Because we do, everyday, like the blue flame of a dying gas burner. The moments when we are not breathing the same air, and I am remembering how right now I would be trying to sleep over in your apartment instead of going back to my own room, moments when I wish that I were fighting sleep so that we could stay up till 1 am, together. The coffee talks when we drank tea instead and you asked me, “How was your week? How can I be praying for you?” It’s the night when I realize that living out this 'goodbye' is a process that one holiday will not complete. I will not realize that I am performing goodbye when I am finally stepping out of the house, and a new life comes to me unbidden, crystallizing in your place, black and white faces in a new congregation, old old friends. Why is my heart aching, then? Why do I feel like I’m tearing you out of my heart so that I can make a place for them? Why do I think before I speak like I am striking out the thoughts that coursed through me when I was still with you?
This is not heartbreak because it was never love. It was life. It was too many its, too much for words to fathom into meaning. So it comes like too many sentences that mean #cantsaygoodbye #imissyou #ILoveYou. Like an aching heart and a night when sleep won’t come.
Dedicated to my Dartmouth family. I miss you my friends. #livingoutagoodbyefrompeopleyoulovesomuchishard