Sometimes my heart hurts so much my head sympathizes.

I keep getting flashbacks of you; phantom touches and emotions–the sound of your voice over Sunday morning cartoons. The sound of your voice as you came home from work; the memories of you kissing mom or embracing her. The memories of how far your love had taken you; how much it ruined yet became of you.

I remember when you told me that my birthday is the most important day of the year–the most important day of your life–because it is the celebration of me: the small mirror of the woman you could never stop loving. I remember every year, welcoming midnight with kisses on my forehead to the sound of a boisterous, off-pitch, household Happy Birthday song. 

I miss talking about you. I miss talking to you.

I miss the feeling of falling asleep during Chinese movies in your arms; the feeling of waking up to the sound of business calls and bookie talk. 

People ask me my favorite memory; my favorite stage of life. My favorite place–and it’s all just this childhood ideal: the kingdom where you’d never die.
Lately I wake and see your face: pecking mom on the cheek, smiling at me over steaks on the grill–looking up from your chinese epics; scribbling numbers on notepads. Lately I sleep  and can’t remember you: the feeling of home; of protection, of forever and unconditionality.

It’s hard to explain the heaviness around holidays. The strange emptiness that characterizes every happiness; follows every event.

I wish you were here. I wish your number brought your voice and not a dialtone. I wish I could stop smelling the scent of jaipur homme; I wish I could stop feeling so alone.

Every problem seems magnified. Every situation seems impossible. Every thing seems so unremarkably bland.

Lately all I can think about is the tiredness that characterized every part of you; the fatigue that became your baseline. Lately all I can think about is how I’ve become of you–how exhaustion has seeped into my bones that were made from you. How the feeling of constant half-lucidity makes me dream closer to you.

I’m scared of what I am now. Of the hours I work, the parts of my life I hate but refuse to change–the materialistic; the shallow, the ugly and intensely mundane. I’m scared that I forgot what parts of me you loved, and the person you wanted me to be.

I’m scared of the idea of you meeting me now. Whether you’d be proud or recoil or refute. Whether you’d smile like I’ve always known.

I’m scared of how tired I always feel. Of how often I feel guilt on my heart and shame in my soul. I’m scared of the frequency of your memories; the forgoing of momentum. I’m scared of these thoughts in my mind. The ideas I keep returning to.

Another birthday will pass without you. Another celebration without our traditions; another day doing what is needed and refusing what is wanted. Another day that I would trade; compounded with all the ones we have lost–to spend a singular moment

letting you know

your Jenny

will be okay.

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