My story is being ripped from my heart, drop-by-drop, shred-by-shred to form the words on these pages. I hang on to my pain, my precious pain, no matter the agony it causes me, because the pain is real. Pain confirms I am still alive. That I feel something.
And if I let it go, if I tell my story to the end, the whole story, “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” to the best of my ability, I am terrified I will be left with nothing. My feelings will be drained until I am only an empty husk filled with nothing. I do not know what nothingness will be, but I do know my suffering intimately. Despair fills me completely like oil, flows into all the cracks and crevices until there is no space for anything else. My precious memories occupy my thoughts so I am never alone, never without images floating before my eyes.
To let them go becomes an act of faith: to believe there will be something more. I have lost my future in the pain of our past, but I am loath to let it go because I fear there will never be anything as precious, as important, as full of life as what I have lost.
There will never be another Beau. I will never lie anywhere again with your arms around me.
I can try and be happy that you never saw your country threatened. You never lived through the terror and despair of September 11th. People still tear each other apart on this planet. We pour poison on each other and ourselves instead of working together to make life better. I know you would have hated to see these things.
But some nights, all I know is, you are not here beside me. I faced those events alone. I lost my dreams with you. Every one of them had you in it, even if you were only on the sidelines cheering for me, or walking me home afterwards.
To let you go, to say, you are the past, is so hard. I want to hang on to you with both hands and never move again. I don’t want to learn to walk without you, into a future where you are not there.
All the future holds for me is more agony to face alone. There are no dreams left for me. My best friend is Death who comes for tea and talks with me. I wish you would come and visit me instead. I long for you to come and take me where you are. Wherever it is, it must be better than where I’m living.
I’m not living, of course. I’m here, stuck in this body that insists on longing for you when I want to go to sleep. Here I am in the middle of the night longing for you. I’d settle for your arms around me. I’d settle for sitting on the other side of the room from you. If only you were here.
How can I let you go? My darling Beau, my love. How could you leave me here alone?
Where do I find a life now? Even my talent has deserted me. I’m nothing and no one. Empty except for you.