The author with her beloved.
I miss you.
You’ve been such an important part of my life these past years—I didn’t know how much you would come to mean to me.
I remember the day I left you. Left you this time, that is. For I know I haven’t always been there for you, I know I haven’t been perfect in my love for you—leaving you at whims for long stretches at a time. It is what was best for you, please know I was only thinking of that. I’ve been going places that wouldn’t have been good for you.
It had been another frenzied day of gathering up possessions that day: what to keep, what to store, what to give away. After all these years of living out of a suitcase, you’d think I would have gotten better at this. It was in that moment I made the heart-wrenching decision that you wouldn’t be coming with me for the first leg of the next journey, the only part you could have come along. I couldn’t put it off any longer, I needed to continue on without you.
You were in the living room when I last saw you, standing in a kind of dejected way, supported by the wall, leaning near the drum kit. I knew you’d have friends stopping by over the next months to hang out and check-in with you. I knew you’d be okay. I knew it even though it tore my heart up to drive away from you. I had to do it.
We have so many memories, you and I. We’ve been intrepid adventurers, able to take-on couches and spare rooms of friends and family during confusing transitions. We would spend so much time together: engaging intensely in my favorite chair by the window, hanging out with friends, or even just sitting with one another watching television. Remember the road trips we would take? Stopped for 20 minute stretches of summer construction, we’d sit on the hood of the car and not be bothered by the wait, happy to be with one another.
I long to hold your body close to mine as I once did. Your smooth, full body. Long and slender, yet round in all the right places like I need you to be.
I won’t lie and say that I’ve been alone in the time we’ve been apart. I like to think you know me better than that; you know I couldn’t survive without replacing the hole leaving you creates inside of me.
There have been others. I think it only right if I tell you. Yes, it’s hard for me to think about, but I will hold the space and answer anything you need to know.
There’s been Martin. Robust and enchanting, though I never did quite learn how to caress him tenderly enough to my liking—my fingers getting confused by his wiry build as they would press urgently into his neck. Yes—Martin was a 12 string. But please don’t compare yourself. Just because you are different doesn’t make your magnificence any less.
Martin’s heart never really turned towards me fully. It belonged to someone else, happy to share his beauty with me for a time. You see, I don’t think I ever learned how to appreciate him in quite the way he deserved. I will remember him in my life, and the ethereal cadences that would spring forth from him. They’ll add richness to my memories but I will not pine for him, not the way I pine for you.
There was that few-month fling last summer, but summers are like that. I was placated by the petite build with Asian ancestry, but I knew my time with the three-quarter size Yamaha was more out of necessity than anything else.
I won’t bore you with the details of my passionate, yet meaningless, one-night stands: friend’s of friends whose names I no longer remember. I know it’s no excuse, but it was just the way some evenings unfolded. That it would have been unsociable to claim my allegiance to you, then, and refuse to let my heart express itself in the best way it knows how.
That’s what you do for me, did you know that? You let me tap into deep reaches of myself and then help me articulate the inarticulable. The way we synch our breath together in moments of intimacy fills my every cell with life-giving sustenance. I am drawn towards you with a magnetic force I do not understand. I’ll sometimes find you in my arms and only afterwards understand how much I needed you in that moment.
I need you more than ever now. I need to feel you close as my breath heaves. I need to let these tears fall somewhere.
I’m coming back for you. It’s been more than I can stand. My ticket’s booked, my plans are made. I’m heading West, and soon I’ll hold you in my arms again.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photos: courtesy of the author