Love Is Watching Someone Die

It’s been raining all day. The mums are soggy and drenched in dampness; I notice them almost instantly as my face lands right next to the pot they’re in on my front porch. I have approximately two hours to get to the other side of town and back. My Brian Lichtenberg t-shirt just got streaked in fat lines of mildew water falling down the steps while rushing out the door. The awkward clinging of my shirt from the wetness makes me look emaciated from some angles and bulbous from others.

I catch myself saying, “It’s ok, it’ll dry, it’ll dry,” over and over again until I realize I’m already at the bus stop and people are staring. I knew I should’ve beaten my face a little more this morning with product before stepping out. Oh well, it’s all the same.

The bus driver decides to be nice and not charge the fare because the Red Sox just won the World Series, but I am not happy. How could I be? You died a month ago. They called to tell me your ashes were ready three weeks ago, and now I finally mustered up the courage to go get them.

I should be exchanging small chat with the people next to me about the game, but all I keep thinking about is how I had to hold you down when the doctor injected you. I keep hearing you scream as the life inside of you oozed out and I thought for a second you would come back to life and say, “just kidding!” But you didn’t, and now I’m feeling like my home is not my home anymore.

Some say home is a state of consciousness, but I can’t shake the thought of you not being a part of my reality anymore. I loved you in a way I’ve never loved before.

The rain breaks my thoughts and it’s drizzling onto the window leaving little water formations, staining the streetlights shining through. Some of the droplets have made it inside the window, and I feel cold as the draft hits the wet spots still drying on my shirt.

I look down as everyone else looks up and I remember the time the big rainstorm hit Boston last year. I tried desperately to share my umbrella with you. Even though you wore the bright yellow raincoat that day, your hair was still all wet by the time we got home. Your hair was always getting wet, and now my face is too. The tears from thinking of you drip down running along the arches of my cheekbones and whirling at the tip of my nostrils, streaming off the edge as if they were awnings at a coffee shop in Portland.

The queefing sound the windshield wipers are making and the honking outside snaps me back into the moment and I see the stop coming up. There it is: BROOKLINE VETERINARY. I take a deep breathe before grasping the door handle to step inside, another before signing the papers to get your collar. More tears keep falling from the lashes I can’t even feel on my face anymore, and I realize my shirt will never be dry today. TC mark

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