I will miss you in the early morning hours, when the dreams are slightly more lucid and slivers of pre-dawn light make my eyes flutter. I turn over, reaching out a hand, and my heart will jump a beat when my hand lands on an empty pillow, not on the feathery lightness of your hair. I will miss you in the sheets, in the pre-dawn hours.
I will miss you when I open my eyes and stare up at the cracks on the ceiling. Cracks that mirror the cracks in me that you helped to seal with those soft eyes of yours. I will remember the way you touched me, the way you pushed me into the bedsheets and dusted me with angel kisses. I will miss you, because you made my every cell burn with life, and now that my bed is my own again, I ache for the warmth of your body beside mine. I will miss the warmth, the laughter, the seductive gleam in your blue eyes.
I will miss you when I step under a warm shower. When the water sluices over my face, forcing my eyes shut. With my eyes shut, it is easy to imagine that you are standing here, watching me, completely comfortable around me. I can imagine your hands lathering me up and rinsing me down. I almost feel your lips tasting the wetness of mine, until, with a gasp, I open my eyes and see white tile closing in on me. I will miss you under the droplets, under the drizzle, under the downpour.
I will miss you when I busy myself in the kitchen. . You stacked pots and pans so methodically, stirred so efficiently. When I pick up a cutting board, the image of your slender fingers handling the knife will steal my breath away for a moment, until the rumbling of my stomach forces me to continue slicing. I will miss the way you poured cumin on everything, and the expression you turned upon me when I did not cook the rice enough and it was brittle. I will miss you when I burn the eggplant and start to cough, tears springing into my eyes. I will miss you in the smoke, in the steam, in the spices.
I will miss you when I take a walk in the woods. . The wind that plays with my hair will bring back memories of head rubs and Planet Earth, of unfinished episodes and your arm around me. The whispering trees call to me to evaluate their timber potential, to measure their carbon stock, and I will wish you could help me. The gurgling stream that I splash through reminds me of Turtle Hole and salmon finding their way home. It reminds me of the carefree laughter I shared with you, and I will turn instinctively to make a comment, to see your expression, or to touch your arm, and that is when I will realize that you are not beside me. And I will miss you, in painful gasps.
I will miss you when I dance. . When the Latin beat pulses, when the mirrors flash, when I stumble and your familiar hands do not steady me. I will miss you when I walk down the streets of downtown on Thursday nights and hear the familiar rhythm of salsa pounding in a bar. I will close my eyes and for a minute, your arms will be around me again, achingly familiar against my shoulder blade, your warm, dry palm securely in mine. We will sway slowly to the rhythm, locking eyes, unable to see anything past one another. And then a passerby will make a comment about how strange I look, swaying by myself with my eyes closed, and it will hit me with the force of a hurricane that you are far away and that I am dancing alone. I will miss the partnership, the trust, the beat of your heart.
I will miss you when I embark on an adventure. . There is no one else I would rather adventure with than you. Your practicality and hardiness complement my childlike wonder and perseverance. We made the best team, you know. You and I made sense, and adventuring will not be the same without you to share each moment with.
I will miss you when I am reading a good book, one that makes me re-assess my values and perceptions. . You always made me re-evaluate my biases by showing me a new perspective, something I will always cherish. You gave me equal doses of acceptance and criticism, and even though you quipped at me giving you advice, you did take a fair measure of it, to your credit. I will miss the companionship, the intellectual stimulation, and the peacefulness.
I will miss you when I am a lonely figure in a crowd. . When everyone around me is rushing to reach a destination, when horns are honking and lights are flashing. When people are too busy to pause to exclaim over a flower growing through the sidewalk cracks, or too important to smile at a beggar on the street. I will miss your humanity in these moments, the way you made me feel safe, the way you and I could be in a crowd and yet be entirely contained within one another.
But most of all, I will miss you in the moments of silence.
Silence was easy with you. I love the way we sat across from each other, quietly absorbed in our own work, yet the companionship was present. If I stirred, you would glance up, smile at me, and then return to your work. When you rose to stretch, I would give you a small smile, or a wink, and resume my reading.
Small touches, small glances…these burn like stars in the sky of my memory. Silence was precious with you. Silence made me appreciate the peaceful perfection of our bond. Silence made me understand why words cannot solve all problems, and why listening is more important than talking. Silent moments with you made me realize how much I love being around you, not just for your words but for your essence, for who you are.
So, this is how I will miss you. I will miss you in the minutes, in the seconds, in the spaces between us. I will miss you when I cannot turn to you and chuckle over a dilemma. I will miss you when I notice a golden-haired man staring musingly at a tree, and when I find myself wandering through the woods. I will miss you in the early morning light, in the dusk when the fireflies dance, when I burrow into my bedclothes and prepare to slip into dreamland. I will miss you when I am trekking in the wild places, when I am sitting at my desk drafting a poem, when I am cooking, or reading a good book.
I will miss you constantly, but the ache will be muted. I will miss you, dear boy, until I see you again. I hope you miss me too.