This week is feeling a bit different. I think it’s a good different, though it’s such a small shift. Frail, and prone to being another tease, something that sticks harder when I fall back down. But maybe not. Time is doing its work, and with that comes a mix of emotions. My memories, the immediate ones, of being with her—of having her as part of my daily life—are fading. I remember this with the first dog I lost (the first in my adult life that is). I remember how his memories faded, how he became less tangible, like a memory from my past versus a living breathing reality. I had to work hard to imagine him bringing me his ball and dropping it, the polite woofs to get my attention, how he would lick me (and only me) right on my nose in our little ritual that existed only for us. It became harder and harder to confer those memories. It’s what time does, it’s how we’re healed when we’ve lost something so important. The memory becomes calloused, protecting you from the true pain beneath the surface, the pain that has been locked away, transmogrified into something different. Blood hardening into matted tissue.

Days after I lost my second dog, truly my best friend, I sat at my piano and played a song titled “Blue Bird” by Alexis Ffrench. I’m not sure of it’s intended meaning, but I see it as simple song about life, how it begins, how it is lived, and, cyclically,  how it inevitably ends, fading away into the mist of collective memory. One portion of the song captures this feeling, that the memory of a once-living creature is fading away, calcifying. As I played, I thought of my little guy’s memory fading, and I broke down. I thought how I didn’t want him to become only a memory, that he deserved so much more than to become another simply to be mourned.

It’s been 8 months since I split with my wife. 6 months since I found out she was having an affair. Somehow only 6 months. Only now have the memories of her presence begun their own calcification, only now becoming somewhat encased, no longer so raw. Memories of “us” seem long ago. Like binding twine, my mind continuously attempts to define the experience, relentlessly trying to understand, to capture what it was, to define 16 years of life, and, ultimately, to file it away. To tie the bow. To call it what it was. To move on. But with that feeling comes further grief, because I don’t necessarily feel ready to pull that bow tight, to forget, to submit to the ephemeral. I’m not ready to lose those memories, or to have them grow distant, despite the fact that it is crucial for my healing. I simply must have distance, I must place memories upon memories, into a bound box, and for the first time I must mourn for someone who still lives. Her. Myself.

But, there has to be a flame for something to burn away, to meld, to transform, and this flame is burning and burning and burning.


Sometimes, you’d ask me for something different
Hated when you did it, I wish that you didn’t
I would do things and you’d get annoyed
I should’ve never done them, I wish I was different
Why do we have to step away now?
It’s been a year, been a couple days now
Since you called me sayin’ you’re worried
Been hard for me dealin’ with this space now
No company, wishin’ we could sit down
‘Cause I’m sorry, but you don’t want me

Please stand with me after dark
I’ll stay in the limelight
Like a beautiful afterthought
I don’t wanna forget about you
I don’t wanna forget about you, oh
I don’t wanna forget about you
I don’t wanna think about it

— Joji, afterthought

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