I was in a state of near non-existance, barely able to move or rise out of bed, but there was an image burning in my mind. The date was January 5th and the year was unimportant. I'd been living a transient kind of lifestyle, flitting from place to place, from thing to thing. Currently, I was back in my home town sleeping in satin sheets. I have to say that it had been one of the most comfortable beds I'd slept in, in the past three years. It had been three years. I had made the time to wait for you for three years, and it dawned on me that typically I couldn't wait a mere three minutes for the microwave to cook my food. I laughed at the thought and tried to blink away this image blazing in my head.
And yet, it stayed anwyays. This bright, white light, a blazing star. This image of hope and peace lit atop the water tower for all to see from December 18th, to January 5th every year. I remember these dates because it was lit the day before my birthday, and extinguished the day of yours. Once, I took it as a sign we were meant to be, but now I see it as what it is, a star, and only a star. The most rudimentary of shapes that marks a holiday and little else.
I remember waking, and noting its light, the first time I saw it, and immediately you popped into my mind. I referred to it as the north star. A guiding light, a helpful hand. I thought of you as something, someone who led me home by your bright prescence. But when I cast my eyes upon the world that lay below the second floor of that two story garage, I couldn't notice the washed out dirty gray color that permeated the earth. I wanted to believe in you and I and the persistant hope I had in love would not let me be free of the notion. We were never to be united again, and yet, here you were, still leading me home...Or was it farther astray? It seemed like everything went downhill once you were gone.
Our house that smelled like sunflowers and sunshine and a bit like old paint was ripped away from us. My truck broke down and I cried a little as I remembered the cherries frozen to the window sill from the time we went to the grocery store in a blizzard. As we packed up everything we could take with us, I stood under the solitary flourescent light in the kitchen and cried, and I remember the bulb blinking out, never to turn on again. I remember what it felt like to have to leave your things behind. I remember what it felt like to close that door for the last time. I remember catching out of the corner of my eye, all the ghosts of the memories we made, and though you weren't much of a dancer, I imagined that they were. I imagined them waltzing and dancing, smiling and warm and bright. I remember all those summer days on the deck, and all those warm breezy nights singing drunken songs on the porch. That house is still there today, but they've ripped out all that made it what it was. They ripped out every single thing that made it ours. The burnt carpet and the bathroom mirrors, where you stuck the stickers I stuck to you. It's all gone now, but that's okay. So are you.
The world seemed quite dim for a while, but I remember watching that star. The place I was living had no heat and no bed. There wasn't a shower, but I did have our dog, and I had a clock radio; I spent every night, wishing on that single star to lead me home, or to lead you home. It never dawned on me, that maybe that was the best thing, for you to be gone.
I blocked out most of my memories from that time. But one remained clear, the day the star went out. I couldn't see its blazing light, and I woke up that morning to an onslaught of tears. I knew the day, and I knew that somewhere, you'd be celebrating without me. I cried, and I cried and I stayed in my room until the sorrow broke and the anger blazed brighter than ever before and then I went downstairs and started doing the most physical labor I could find until my body was so tired I couldn't move or think anymore. I woke up late the next day, and somewhere, solid as a sinking stone, I knew it was over. But I still didn't let it go. I would still look for you in the cracks of the sidewalk and the harsh, stark cold of the wind that chapped my cheeks but made them more flush than they'd ever been.
I remember when you used to look at me like I was the only girl alive, at my messy hair pulled up in a clip, and my wild brown eyes. I remember the day I wore my glasses in front of you for the first time, or the day I walked to the gas station in three feet of snow to get us dinner because no one else could make it. I remember the way you purred my name and called me amazing, and no matter how much I still wanted these things, I didn't want them from you.
I looked long and hard for you in the night sky, like somehow I would find your eyes staring back at me. I looked in the bottom of bottles, and glasses, and shots. I looked for you in the way the dog wagged his tail or wiggled his butt, or begged for walks. And even though I saw you everywhere, I never found you anywhere. Even though I left no stone unturned, no pebble untouched I never did find you, and I was never discouraged. Every little clue I thought I found, every little chance of sucess, was this bright ray of hope, leading me home.
That was three years ago, almost to the day. Its a little past the time when I would have missed you. But instead, on your birthday, I woke up in my satin sheets, and I could finally breathe. I thought of that blazing star, as I always did, and it almost made my head hurt until I remembered the date, and that it'd be dark.
I remembered the date, and your name, and your face. I remembered you were gone and everything had changed, but the most notable change of all came with the realization that I didn't care. I didn't care what your name was or where you were. I didn't care if you were on an airplane above my head like I used to when I lived in that concrete building on mainstreet. I didn't care if you were here or there or anywhere. I didn't care that you were gone, or what your face looked like, or how you didn't even say goodbye.
And so now I realize, that it never mattered where you were, we were always too far apart to ever be close enough. This is my way of writing you off, just like you did to me. This story is for all the wasted words, all the wasted moments, all the wasted tears. This story is my way of saying good bye, and good riddance... something you never were capable of doing.