Winter tends to be a hard season for me. While I have been blessed in this past year to really dive deep into work and solidify my career as a writer—my utmost desired passion—things start to slow down as the new year approaches and memories start to creep in. Most times and in the tune of Talking Heads, these memories can’t wait though. As I skate through this season with my head held up, time gains on me and creates thin ice along the way, revealing memories that have lain dormant for months. Yet, lately they have begun to push at the door of my reality and send me in a tailspin that takes nights of mourning into my pillow to just get over. But letting that grief out doesn’t work, and it’s as if all that progress from months ago and just letting go has been lost all thanks to a season that beams as bright as it twinkles.
It’s a season governed by reclusiveness, where activities are fed to dormancy and our life becomes still, indwelling and most often silent. Like many others though, I think a lot during this season about my life, the people in it and the people who are no longer with us. Since the start of winter, I have stilled my soul, quieted my mind to the important bits that matter to my living, but every time I come up for air from this abyss, I find myself hitting a slope deeper into darkness all because I think about him.
His name, soft yet bold and defiant was one I loved saying on my lips for years during our hilarious conversations, or simply whispering into his ear on cold nights. Along the way we got lost though and for the past year on and off, the name has been trying its best to hide in memory, tucked away between moments that are good and bad as I crystallize the inner workings of my brain with a hope to carry on contentedly. However, since the start of November, I have felt in my being an unease and oddly enough, it has led back to him.
A night or two before the U.S. presidential election, I had a dream about him. Of course I did though, because his opinion and thoughts on everything under the sun mattered to me and yet, I never had a chance to pick his brain about things I’ve become fervent about since the election. While I won’t get into the details of the dream, I do remember waking up happy and wondering that very morning if he had been alright. A few weeks later, days after Thanksgiving to be exact and a very busy day at work that left me exhausted beyond repair, I had another dream about him and wondered at this point if he really was okay. And then in a selfish moment, wondered if he thought about me ever again. It was a silly thought to think, especially with how things had been recently but a part of me felt overwrought with an odd feeling I couldn’t quite understand.
I will never know what it means to have these spurts of feelings, especially after months but there is no denying between the good and the bad that I still love him. Immensely, deeply and unselfishly. If this past year has shown the me anything, it’s that we don’t always get what we want but tomorrow is as unpredictable as fuck, so just carry on as you will even if it challenges the standard or normality as we know it.
As the days in this December led to his birthday today, this time of back and forth through 2016 has shown me my brightest spots in life, all thanks to him. My muse. My reason. My love. No matter where he is in life, who he lives with or tucks in bed, I love him. I love him. I say that with a lump in my throat and grinded teeth, but it is true and I have never known that more than this year. With every achievement, every tear, every bit of news both personally and worldly, with every ounce inside me that I have suppressed—he is the truth, and will always be the love of my life.
As I mentioned it last year, I began to trust my gut instinct more often and 2016 proved it to me that it is imperative to my own journey that I do. As I thought about him last month and do so tonight with the hope of better days ahead, a part of me believes that with or without me, I linger in his memory from time to time. After everything the two of us have been through from his tender age of 26, I believe that yesterday, today and tomorrow, despite the time or distance and in those quiet moments of solitude, I am thought of as he stretches his mind to the truest he’s ever felt.
Today, he celebrates a couple of decades and for it, I wish him much love and include my six wishes for him. I will never know if he cares, but that’s not what love means. It doesn’t have to be proof. It just has to be sincere and meaningful to the person who has loved.
- I wish you will be happy the same way you once made me, despite all of it. I was better for it and it made me feel so much more sure of myself as a person contributing to this giant planet. And while I am unsure what it was exactly between us that kept you around me so long as my friend, I would give up everything right now just to know if you are happy.
- I wish you find friendship every where you go. Being your best friend was an honor for me, guiding me to a new realm and never letting me compromise who I was. It was just a beautiful, appreciated and cherished part of my life and I miss it so much. I wish that friendship we shared can be found again. I was so proud to be a part of your life, see us “grow up” together in some ways and share what we did with whatever came ahead. You were (and sadly, are) the person I want to tell all my secrets to and I know I was that person for you too. Relationships are volatile, but friendship stays. Don’t you agree?
- I wish you strength in being an amazing father. I know it might not be easy—or maybe the charming little wee one makes it easy, but I know you are an incredible father with a child that will truly dote on you and fall head over heels in love with the very essence of what makes you, you. I know you will love your child more than anything and anyone in this world and for that, I am happy. As a side wish, if that’s even a thing, I hope if you have a daughter, she has your smile, eyes and hair; and if you have a son to go fishing or karting with one day, he has your nose, chin and ears—both having your brain and heart. Either way, because of how it was written, that child of yours will rewire your brain and for that, I am sanguine.
- I wish you could realize how great you are and stop underestimating your abilities. No matter what happened and what you went through, know that your truth is the best thing about you. You have this big, bright personality but somewhere in a remote back passage lurks insecurity. Recognize it, B, and make a change from it. I know you benefit from a life that’s safe and sheltered, protected too. But I know you also feel a bit imprisoned and start to chafe under the notion that your talents and abilities are being denied. Just because you’re a father doesn’t mean you stop living life. When you light up with your passions and love, it will light up the world. If you can embrace that, know I will be there every step of the way rooting you on — in the shadows, of course. You can be with who you’re with, but a part of me will always understand you to the core because that same part you unveiled of me, which is setting its own course, feels you gifted me with something you never gave anyone else. I can look deep down and I will never make it out, but I know it’s a good part of you and I want you to be sure of yourself because you have a beautiful mind and I know what it’s meant for me.
- Despite the pain we caused each other over the past few months, I wish you could go back to the email I sent, titled, “November 2014” because that one says it all and remains true. Nothing has changed. I know what you were to me and I will know until my last day. You were my best friend, and what we shared was strong enough to motivate me to where I am today. You awakened every part of me, and I have never felt this way in any relationship despite trying. But I realized you cannot try what is not meant to be, so I have given up on it. It goes back to what this year meant: we don’t always get what we want. And who said everyone had a happy ending, anyway? I will never doubt what we had and I hope you don’t either.
- I wish you shelter from the storm, a cozy fire to keep you warm but most of all, when snowflakes fall, I wish you love. Not an original wish, but one I pray to God you find every night when my head hits that pillow.
Happy birthday, B. The day you were born was a lucky day for so many people, and that includes me. You enrich every aspect of my life, my motivations and my ambitions and for that I thank you. And I love you. May every soul you touch in this life bring you comfort and peace. Moreover, may every friend you hug bring you extreme joy and solace. While saddened I cannot wish you personally, on this special day I wish for you to always have everything your heart desires because you are worth it and so much more.
If you could guess how much I love you, know it was right up to the moon and back.