Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Miss Him

I miss him. I miss the way he used to stay up until I got home. The conversations we had about pieces in the New Yorker (when we could read it), Chinua Achebe, and Deepak Chopra. I miss discussing the finer points of American Idol and the common giggles we’d share after being defeated by Thursday’s crossword puzzle. I miss the way he’d shoot me that warning look when I rough house with Langston, knowing it would be me that would get hurt. I miss the way he’d hold me tight when I was too wound up to sleep knowing if he held on long enough, I’d calm down and eventually fall asleep. I miss the way he’d kiss me in the morning before he got out of bed for his run and the way he’d wake me so I could get out of bed for mine.

I miss the way he protected me from the kids and the way he insisted I have time away from them, sometimes acting as bouncer. I miss the way he says to any child who is up after they have been put to bed “This is not fair. This is mommy and daddy time and you are now infringing on our special time. You need to go to bed.” I miss the way they would listen. I miss the way he’d hold my hand when we sat on the couch. I miss the way he always drove. I miss the way he strokes my face when I’m upset. I miss being held by him as I soaked his shirt with snot and tears. I miss his interest (admittedly sometimes feigned) in anything I was interested in. I miss his vocabulary.

I’m angry because although he’s here in body, his spirit is gone. I am being teased. The cancer and the drugs and the emotional trauma have replaced Art. The man I happen to love more with every argument, even though Lord knows he pisses me off, is not here and sometimes, I think it is more painful than having him really gone…dead. (Don’t you fuckin’ tell me in that shocked, terrified voice “don’t say that!” That's your issue not mine.) If he were dead, I would only have photos, and smells and the gestures of the kids to remind me of him. I could cry whenever I damn well pleased. I could move through stages and while not forgetting him, the loss would eventually become an ache. Now I have this 182lb. being that doesn’t smell like him, and rarely sounds like him to take care of. My tears distress him so I keep them in check. He is not who he was. I have know idea who he will be.

Every so often I get a glimpse of the one I married, reminding me of what was. Only that makes me miss him more. I can’t even remember what he looked like with hair. That’s why I think it would be easier. I am mourning the loss of a man, of a relationship that was. I am hopeful it will come back but that does not ease the agony (yup, an appropriate word) of losing him. And I’m mad as hell. What I need, want and desire, I can’t have.

P.S. Mom, I’m sorry for doing this to you when I was a teenager. I didn’t realize till now that you missed me too.

P.P.S We go to the doctor today to see why he can’t breath. My feeling is that the disease didn’t kill him but the cure is giving it its best shot. I think there is scaring in his lungs from the high dose chemo. Well, fuck.

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