more than half a year

i don’t know if anyone would disagree with me, but i’ll go out on a limb and say summer was my friend mike’s season. blond hair, tan skin, in his later years, vintage convertible. he was a natural sailor and his penchant for light-hearted ribbing suited summer — a season of carefree laughter and where i always seem to finally be in on the right side of things with mother nature.

it’s been about seven months since mike died. even more than when he first died, i feel like i shouldn’t keep talking about him. i still have his number in my phone and sometimes when i go on the ‘contact stroll’ to invite people to things or to reach out to someone for help or ask a question, i run past his name and there is a micromoment where i think, “i haven’t talked to mike in a long time, i’m going to call him.” and then it’s immediately followed by the next micromoment of “don’t call. he’s dead, remember? no more calls, you silly, why don’t you just take that out of your phone?” followed by “i don’t know. it makes me feel like i’m just erasing him completely out of my mind if i do that. like i’m doing him some disservice. i’m leaving it in.” and i scroll by. and remember, that whole process takes as long as it takes to hit the down button one more time.

i “see” him everywhere. i see someone who has his profile, but not really. or his hair or his smile, but not really. it’s like my brain is hoping so much that it’s all some fucked up joke. that they were all wrong. that it’s all some bad AA rumor. that he’s just somewhere in california or florida or something. we do that, you know. we terrorize families and friends that way.

but, i was there. i was at that service. i saw his mother. i saw his family. he owned a house. his mother lived above him. she saw. he’s not in california. he’s not a missing person. this isn’t a mistake. i’m not in complete denial. i’m over the shock. i’m over the anger. according to this, i’m doing reflection and loneliness. so be it.

i just wish i could call him up. go to a street fest. have a party. go to the beach. cruise around in the car and blast the radio. all the great summer days — of which i am SO happy are here — make me think of him. and i can’t believe he’s not here anymore. miss you, mike.


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