The months pass, gather, clinging like dust in the corners of my brain. The time skips and is at once a moment ago and light years away. The imprint of him only reaching my senses now. My eyes forming his shape though he is already gone. A figment. My perceptions.
I become obsessed with the night sky, with constellations. The universe that expands, the galaxies that are now, as I type, speeding away from me. Never to be touched. All the mysteries we will never solve like who his father was and why he had to disappear so quickly, burning out when I needed him most, a dead star, a black hole. These thoughts that are consumed by him, drawn and destroyed.
I would keep him if I could, place him in my own starry sky and trace out his image in lines, dot to dot. Tell his story to my daughter one day of how we love and lose, of what happens when we fly too close to the sun. Sometimes, we burn and fall, I’ll say, and that’s okay. The way we love is unique.
Some of us love quietly, patiently, doggedly, until all the love is gone, until we reach down deep inside and come up empty, surprised. The love that we thought would never fail us is over so quickly, with such finality that we can do nothing but say goodbye wide-eyed and stunned.
Others, I’ll tell her, love wildly in all directions. In waves and hurricanes, shaking trees and unearthing secrets, ravaging our partners. Some of us love hard with nails and teeth, savagely. Ripping in and out of hearts and howling at the moon. Loving and leaving and retracing steps. Some of us show up on doorsteps when it’s far too late and have no regrets. Some of us are impossible to love closely, we can be held tightly only for so long, before our skin heats and scorches the palms that want us. Leaving behind nothing but handfuls of stardust and ash.
Some of us hold steady, shining brightly on schedule, hearts that you can tell time from.
And some of us streak across lives, burning, trailing behind us all the hearts that couldn’t contain us, all the lives we couldn’t lead, all the people they wanted us to be.
“But which way is better? How are you supposed to love?” She’ll ask.
“There’s no right way, baby, you just love the best you can in the only way you know how.”
“Well, what way did you love?”
“Me? I loved hard and fast and high.”
“High? How high?”
“High, baby, higher than Orion.”
“Past the stars, even?”
“Further, to the edge of the universe. That’s how hard I loved.”
“Wow. That’s pretty far.”
“But, you came back.”
“Of course.” I’ll say, pulling her close and shrugging off the cold black universe. “Of course I came back.” I’ll say out loud, picking at the scar inside me and adding silently to myself, part of me did, anyway.
Because that’s how it always works out isn’t it? Parts return, not all. The core stays up there, rotating in some orbit, waiting to be discovered. While we sit like ants, looking up.
Local Natives – Sun Hands (Live)