Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mike for a nanosecond

Yesterday morning—when I was still half asleep, maybe three quarters asleep, or maybe I was dreaming—I said to myself, oh, good, it’s Friday so Mike will come here tonight. A couple of weeks ago, in the grocery store, for a fleeting second I thought about buying some pork chops to grill the way he liked them. And just this afternoon I was unloading things from the car when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mike coming around the corner in his pickup truck. The driver looked like Mike but the pickup truck was white, not grey like Mike’s. It wasn’t Mike. He has been dead now for a year and a half.

I don’t know whether to curse those fleeting seconds when my head is back in the old life, when he was alive, or whether to find some joy in those nanoseconds. In my old life I took it all for granted. He came over, I cooked, we played music, we talked and talked, and we kept loneliness at bay for one another. In my new life he is simply gone. In those fleeting, unconscious moments when I forget that he’s gone, I still have the sense of the routine and I take it for granted that he’s a big part of my life, that he’ll always be there. It’s hard to savor that brief amnesia when the reality hits me so quickly, with such finality. It makes it sting all that much more, knowing that nothing will recapture that time.

Mike has ridden off into the sunset. In a sense time does heal. But I still miss him--time hasn't taken that away.

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