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10.14.2012

a love letter to the man i don't know.


i remember you must have asked about my birthday a hundred times that first year. when was it? what was the date? and each time i sat in the silence following my response i could feel you attempting more alchemy than math as you worked the numbers in your head. you would ask again  as though my answer might change--as though the difference between us might suddenly make sense. as if you might be able to line the numbers up just so to account for the space between--the years that seemed mighty when we were young, now meaning little.

i'm pretty sure you were trying more to account for a life you hadn't planned for. and so it wasn't really a question of numbers or ages or years or the dates of birthdays. it was a question and risk and reward and the great unknown.

i've always said i learn best by doing it wrong and i wonder if that's true for you too. if you had to look in the face of something right and good and choose instead what-had-long-been-planned-as-right-and-good--if we both had to fail in opposite directions for the alchemy to take hold.

i feel so far away from you now. as though we'll never speak again or meet again. as though i might wake tomorrow, my memory in tact, but for you--a different sort of rip van winkle slumber. but someone asked about you recently and before thought could catch up to feeling i said i'm in the eye of the storm. this is the calm.

but i don't know. it's been so long. maybe too long. and maybe too much has happened. and maybe all that will ever be is a stolen moment each october 4th remembering how often i uttered that date in response to all the questions you were afraid to ask.

5 comments:

Jacob Phelps said...

This post has left me speechless. I read it six times.

Your words have strength, dear Meg.

Tara said...

Wow. This is beautiful and heartbreaking.

jackie said...

Jacob Phelps said it perfectly. Good god, Meg.

May said...

you write so beautifully.

Anonymous said...

wow.