Most girls and women do this thing where they get talking about something they are really passionate about and become all animated and lit up and excited. Then as quick as a light switch, we shut down, mumble an apology and it’s over. It’s because someone we held in high regard once, twice or a thousand times, sneered at our enthusiasm and told us to calm down. I am beginning to realize that all of the times that happened to me it was because when I get like that, it’s like looking at the sun. Instead of shining back, they tried to shut me out. It took me a long time to just shine anyways.
When I was 19 years old, I met someone who wasn’t scared of me, who wouldn’t let me mumble or apologize. He was a writer and he was strange too. He wasn’t putting up with my weird to try and sleep with me. He just liked my weird. And then he died.
I wasn’t supposed to be there, I think you called me.
I hope the last thing you remember about being on earth is me holding your head in my lap, brushing your hair from your face. I was calm in that moment, the love I had for you was genuine. I shut everything out and just focused on you. I didn’t realize the permanence of what was happening and I am glad, when I said everything was going to be alright, it was the truth.
I hope the chaos of the days that followed were lost on you and that you were experiencing something amazing and ethereal, not quite in your body, straddling this life and the next. I got shut out of the hospital and funeral. It angered me at the time, but I think you and I had the best goodbye possible. Everything happened exactly like it was supposed to. When you died all the veils were lifted and those of us left behind saw the best and worst in each other. Thank you for that.
I want you to know that you leaving was a catalyst for me leaving. Neither one of us belonged there.
I can sit here now, 21 years later, with a map, a timeline and push pins and I can see how everything you did and were has affected who and what I am now. I am not the only one. You lived a huge beautiful life in a really short time.
I miss you, I love you and I’m writing again. I have finally let someone other than you read the things I write, all of the someones. You pushed me towards good things, you made me brave, made me feel like strange was a good thing to be. You saved me, more than once. I am finally living a life full of people who see me the way you did, like we are made out of magic. I found someone who makes me shine.