I walked to my car in the cold air this morning and felt a great emptiness in and around me. It felt like an apocalyptic fire had ravaged the Earth and left the atmosphere empty and crisp and longing. Like it had cleared everything away. My insides mirrored the outside – or the outside mirrored the inside, I’m unsure. I knew that soon this emptiness would be replaced with heavy, unrelenting grief. It felt like nothing would ever be the same again. There’s an uneasy sort of clarity when things have been wiped away.
I’d had two hours sleep the night before. The ethereal nature of all solid things in my path was realistically caused by my delirium, but it felt like a new perspective. My hands on the steering wheel – ghosts. The trees passing by – shadows. The people walking on the sidewalk – memories. Nothing was real, I was drifting in a dream. Nothing mattered.
For hours last night I’d considered, seriously, that I might not have my friend in my life in the morning. I’d envisaged life without him and I’d pleaded for him to stay. I knew my words would have no effect but still I tried. Something worked. I never once thought to thank God, but someone must be thanked. I don’t know who they are yet. Perhaps it was just him, coming through and convincing himself to stay when so many things were telling him not to.
There is a long way to go, but goddamn I hope there is a long way to go yet. I hope there is a long way to go, with him filling the empty space instead of grief.