Been a long time since we rock-and-rolled. Or talked. Or anything. We don't know each other now; I mean, we do, we did, but we are strangers to each other in this summer of 2013. It is, for me, an uneasy silence, a quiet that brings no peace.
It gets harder with each new day, this sense of longing, of missing a vital part of my life. The other night I stood at my closet, looking for a shirt to put on before going over to party with Malibu, and I started crying. No real reason for it, no particular memory — just a sudden peal of the bell as the first tear slipped from my left eye and splashed onto my forearm. I stood there looking at it for a minute until my vision blurred and I bowed my head to the inevitable.
"I miss you," I said out loud. "But you already know that." My inside voice added: The same way I know that one day there will be one more crack in my heart and it will be too much, there won't be any more glue and no more places to patch, and I'll just fall where I stand, a small smile of brooding peace on my face, the mark of the very sorrowful and the very wise, and I am not wise.
It's strange, knowing how the string will play out — but not really, because say what you will about me and my issues, I've always had great intuition. I knew you were going to run away before you ever did. Maybe that's why I speak fluent girl.
For now, life moves forward — never straight but forward — and it is easy to mark the swift passage of time: two years since the wondrous summer of heat, one year since the time of tentative rapprochement, five months since the silence descended. No physical calendar exists with the dates etched in Xs. I know them by the marks left on my marrow.
I still see you every day in much of what I do — the movies I watch, the music that plays on Spotify, the books we both cherish, the very scent of the air. "We have a history," you once told me, and it is alive no matter our respective attempts at rewriting it. Life as we lived it may belong to another era, but my best attempts at severing all connections to that time have failed miserably. Perhaps I think too much now. Omphaloskepsis was funny when we mocked it and believed there was no need for doubt. There is no amusement now in contemplating my belly-button.
My world is much bigger and much smaller in your absence. I do not want for company; there are any number of people willing to hang with the badass enigma. I nod in all the right places and dispense bon mots on demand. Beneath that big personality is a small human who seeks a quiet corner with you, and a respite from the deafening hum created by the world.
Nothing that was — the bad and the good of us — can ever be again. Will that same rule apply to the current hush? I listen for your answer in the stillness, choosing to forget a hard lesson learned: you are the muse, and your inspiration often comes from silence.
I hope you're well, dude. Some things never change.