I know you may think you do, but there are a thousand reasons why you don’t want my life.
Probably the worst part, the part that even I have a hard time reconciling, is that people just fucking die while you’re gone. And then that’s it. And everyone you would likely share that grief with is a million miles away.
It’s fucking crushing.
He proposed to me once.
I was fresh off a plane from Mexico City reclining in his bed like I was oft known to be, even though I knew I shouldn’t have been.
“It’s you, Miranda,” he told me, “it’s always been you.”
It wasn’t me.
But there were so many times that I wanted to be, and so many times I tried to mold myself to be her because sometimes it seemed so much easier to become someone that could be in love with him back rather than to find someone else who loved me for who I am.
But regardless, I spent ten years, maybe more, with his messages in my inbox, and mine in his.
I have, over the years, written thousands of words about him, so this doesn’t have to be too long. Every time we broke up or got back together or flew across the States to see each other is pretty methodically documented on my old blog.
I just want to tell you a few things that I’ll remember.
I’ll always remember coming home from work in San Francisco to find him sitting on my couch, despite the fact that he lived in Seattle. And when he left a few days later, I rode with him down the elevator in my building silently. “Are you sad?” he asked, without any hint of subterfuge. And I looked up into his face and saw his brow furrowed, and then I rearranged my own to match.
I’ll remember when I lived in New York and we hadn’t spoken in a year or so and it didn’t matter, because I knew that if I just texted him “I love you” that he’d call me back right away. And he did.
And then I’ll remember when he looked me in the eyes in the long dark, and told me, after ten years, that he was finally ready. That he wanted it all. Marriage. Kids. The works. But I was a year into a life I hadn’t quite yet figured out, and I knew immediately that he just didn’t fit in it.
And now here I am: living that life that I was just beginning to ideate back then. And for better or worse, I’m doing my best to reconcile all of the choices that I’ve made.
We first dated so long ago, back in 2005, and just a couple of months later I had my second going away party at the Duck. He came with his best friend, and he gifted me a tiny enamel pin: a red heart made of two clasped hands. I put it on the front pocket of my jean jacket that night, and I wore it there until that jacket got stolen in 2016.
I was so upset after I found out, and I sent a series of texts that I shouldn’t have, many of them lacking the euphemisms that they probably should. They all merely used the word “dead” rather than all the other things that people say to be nice when someone has died.
One of them didn’t mention him at all. It began, “hey, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but I’ve been really concerned for you and I hope you’re okay,” because now it feels like practically anyone could die.
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say any of this either, but here we are. Because for lack of anyone here, in Tirana, to really share this with, I have words.
And I think it’s actually a pretty shitty memorial considering how much I always prioritized words over him, but it’s all I have left.
And if I’m being honest, it’s all I ever had.