I’m doing something perfectly ordinary.
Like coming home from the store with soy sauce, rice wine, sushi rice, and vodka.
Or reading BOMB on the subway.
Or walking through Union Square, past some skaters with scuffed up boards and dirty t-shirts.
Or buying groceries when I hear the Morrissey song.
I haven’t thought of him in months and then he’s there. It’s not him, I know. I Google his obituary. But this guy who looks like Ryan, the one who’s walking, now, past the door of my building as I turn to carry the groceries up the stairs… I want to ask him to stop and talk with me.
2001 was such a hard year.
Leaving the job I loved.
The phone call in August, telling me he was dead. Motorcycle. Truck. Images, for some reason, of cedars or impossibly tall pines. Sequoias, maybe. I spooled the movie version as Britt told me, and it’s never left my head. An intersection. Mist or fog like the last time I drove the PCH through Big Sur. Air. Flying. A profound aloneness. Darkness. And then, incongruously, silence.
There are stretches when I think of him daily. Of his handwriting. Of his restless energy. Of how I loved him.
How did I love him?
When it happens, I’m shot for the day.
All the usual questions creep in.
There are still no answers.