Saturday, September 3, 2022

Maybe it's all pretend

In my dreams, my most vivid, beautiful dreams, this is all just a joke. 

An elaborate, unfunny joke, but I can't even be mad because you are whole and alive and here.

Last night I dreamed of you again. You were sitting at the table and you looked just like you. 

How is this possible? I asked.

Oh, it was all a joke, you assured me. None of this is real.I got you all good!

Oh you did. 

You got us all.

I didn't get upset, in this dream. I was just so relieved. So happy you that all of this was just a mistake somehow and that you were just gone somewhere for a bit.  Just hidden from where I could see you but not gone. Never gone forever, because that just can't be. It just can't.

We talked, in this dream, and something started to feel wrong. So wrong. You said something that let me know, this was a mistake too. You were going to be gone again. The loud thud as you fell backwards, and then you were no longer. You just vanished,  so much more seamlessly than the last time. The real time.

What I remember the most is the screams. The aching, guttural screams that came out of me. Just like the day you died when I dropped to my knees and screamed over and over again that this simply could not be. The pain just gushed out of me, like rivers. Not my brother. Not my friend. Not you. 

Not you.

I always wake up from those dreams in a cold sweat, a panic, and, oddly, with two seconds of hope. Just two seconds.

You are gone. I know this. There is no way, none, that I can deny it.  There is an unmistakable coldness to the body of someone whose soul is no longer here. You had that coldness. I touched your face and your skin and kissed your scarred forehead. You are gone. I know that you are not coming back. I know that you aren't going to just appear from wherever your hiding place has been this last few months. You are lost to me for as long as I live on this Earth and I know this. I can't stop knowing this. God, how I wish I could stop knowing this.

But, oh.


For two seconds I can think of how lovely it was to talk to you again. I just want to talk to you again. I just miss talking to you. Even in your hardest days, even in the darkest times, you were my friend and my brother and I loved you so very much. 

I didn't tell you enough, I never, ever told you enough, how much you mattered to me. How I think I would have gone completely insane the last few years if I didn't have you to talk to. How I knew. Buddy, I knew. The whole time I knew how bad your addiction was. You thought you were hiding it, but I knew. I just didn't know what to do to help you. I couldn't help you and it was so, so hard, so I just loved you. I just accepted you for who you were. A few years ago I decided that the time I got to have was the time I got to have, and I took it. Because you mattered to me. Because all I could do is love you. It was helpless and it was hopeless and it was terrifying and it was so hard, but I would do it all again, every second of it, to have that time with you. 

Dreams. It's all just dreams now.


How I wish though, I wish it could have all been different. For you and for me. 

I just wish I could talk to you again.


val said...

This is beautifully written and so full of truth. Sending love.

Jill said...