I drove our e-bike at dusk not knowing where to go or what I was looking for. I came upon a surplus shop that looked more like a cataclysm than a treasure trove. Rummaging through piles of broken appliances and discards, I thought, “Look at these – a mess like I am.” I left empty-handed and turned to an unfamiliar road. Trees, creeks, abandoned structures, long way from home. The e-bike was sputtering. It was less than half-charged when I left. Perhaps I was self-destructing. Or maybe I simply wanted to be lost, unmindful of consequences. It was my mindfulness of them that put me in this pain. I wanted to be reckless for once.
This morning I read Clementine von Radics’ “I Swear, Next Time I See You I’ll Be Funny”. For a 12-line poem it was punchy – so much so it left a hole in my gut. I sat on the bed nursing tiny earthquakes that even without a sound, Lia awakened. She opened her arms. I let her spoil me in the silence. No whys. Only my tears falling on her cheek and an unspoken acknowledgment: I see your grief and I take you.
Last weekend, she borrowed my typewriter to “write someone a letter” while at her dad’s. When she returned, she handed me this. I wept, feeling her love transmitting from paper to my aching heart.
It took me an hour to return home, pushing the battery-empty vehicle for almost a kilometer. Breath wispy, I looked up at the sky, a blue window to magical things like birds and crowns of trees fitting each other like puzzle pieces. I didn’t mind toiling for more quietude. Flowerface’s “Jupiter” bled through my headphones. I sent him that once. We exchanged many unconditional, beautiful pieces of ourselves.
Some love we lose, some we keep. Some leave us wandering aimlessly. As I pushed on I realized that I turned on that road because I was trying to find my way back home, away from the comfort I knew. He was comfort. We were each other’s safe space. And now it’s time to veer away.
None of this makes sense to me now. But I try to remind myself – hard as it is – what Lia and I often tell each other: nothing is broken when there is love. When we give love, when we receive love. I gave and received plenty. I still do now. This much I know.