October 10 2016

So Tuesday and I decided we’d spend this weekend away from everything up at a friend’s place far from the reaches of electricity, cel phones and all of that stuff. I knew this day was coming and just needed to get away. Last night, after everyone went to bed I went outside, built a fire, drank some Guinness and waited for midnight so I could say happy birthday. The ciders were gone so I couldn’t toast her with one, but Guinness was our second choice. When the thought of Melissa comes through my mind it always starts where the sun is behind her and she is smiling. The light surrounds her. Golden. She is always smiling, her eyes squinted slightly with that comforting “I love you” look. I could live in that moment. Make time stop and just look at her. Her smile alone was enough to make me fall in love with her. She was beautiful. She would tell me of her flaws. The things she thought were wrong with her appearance. How she felt her chin was too pointy. She wished she’d never plucked her eyebrows when she was younger. Her hair was graying. She didn’t like her legs, her ass her blah blah blah..I never understood what she was saying. They never existed when I looked at her. I would never believe her. No matter what she said was flawed, I never saw it. This monday she would have turned Forty. She was NOT looking forward to that. For the past year or so she would ask me “do you think I could say thirty four? Or thirty six?”. I would laugh at the fact she was asking me in a serious manner. Seriously? “Oh babe, who cares?? Look at you, you’re gonna be forty and you look fucking amazing! You should brag about being forty and looking so hot. Look at me. In the time we’ve been together you’ve had one kid, about to have a second and you haven’t changed at all. I’ve put on twenty five pounds and lost half my hair. My back is screwed up, my knee is screwed up and I’m starting to get up in the middle of the night to pee!” 

Then she’d tell me how great I looked. Me. How good looking she thought I was. The fat bearded redneck. That alone was a reason to love her until the end of time. 

A small part of me, a very small part, thinks she’d somehow be glad she never had to turn forty. She gets to live on now with time stopped. In forty more years she will still be thirty nine. Or thirty four if you want to believe her. Going out looking good. Going along like a Neil Young song. Unfortunately you can’t separate the reality of it all. The sadness and loneliness far surpass any of the 70’s rock melodramatic and semi-romantic “live fast die young” story lines she loved. “We all gotta go sometime”. Maybe babe, but it shouldn’t have been this time. You had a lot more to do before the lights went out. Our children should have had the chance to grow up with a cooler then cool mom. Xo Babe.

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