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A twinkle of a sound. A flash of color. A tiny smile.

A skeleton eating homemade pies in a small room. A kitchen used for heating soup, boiling potatoes, making liters and liters and liters of coffee.

An obituary: a rotting smell, an ancient, beautiful young man.

A Christmas card, a useless lung, an empty bed, much laughter, an understanding, five or six months.

How many words did you speak before this? How many after? How many words have you read before this? How many after?

It is not anger, it is sadness. Another death. It will be the last.

 

 

Moving on: We will build a wood cabin in the forest of the sadness of this year. We will cut the trees and form the boards. (We will plant replacement trees and beg the nature spirits to forgive us.)

We will see new places and meet new people. (These people will not have social problems and will love us.) We will make beautiful art and music. There will be more joy than any heartbreak of the last decade.

We will be kind and strong. We will move on like creek waters from things and people who will prefer to stay behind.

I don’t want it to be over. But it might be. I didn’t want it to be over before, but I thought it should be, so I let it end. But leaving early to avoid awkward silences doesn’t leave you, in the end, with anything more than what you’d have otherwise. I should’ve stayed. I should’ve asked questions. I should have been less afraid of awkward silences, because silence was all I was left with in the end.

I learned my lesson, though. I didn’t want that to happen again. I wouldn’t let it happen again. Sometimes you think you know what’ll happen in a given situation, but you never know. It’ll never be like that, like the way you saw it happen in your head. I know that now, although sometimes I forget. But I didn’t let it happen again, not really. It ended, but I refused that ending; I ended it again, and then again, like re-doing takes on a film set.

The first time, I walked out to my car and didn’t say goodbye. I got in my car, closed the door, and stopped. It could’ve ended there. I didn’t let it.

I went back, said goodbye. Then I went to leave again, I walked half-way to my car, but then I turned around and walked right back because I wasn’t happy with that take, either. It wasn’t going to end like that.

I walked back again, said hello, and refused the previous ending. I fixed it, I made it better. Everything has to end, but you can guide the ending. You don’t have to accept everything that happens to you without doing something about it. And while you can’t stop endings, you can make them be ok. You can make the silence that you’re left with in the end be ok.