An ineffective vigil
I haven't slept. This morning, there is rain and fog, which is cooling and makes the air calm. I blocked my mom's number on my phone two days ago. I've been cleaning my house, front to back. There is a line on the floor in the kitchen where I stopped last night because I was tired.
Mammals call out, said my psychiatrist. If they lose a child, they will call out again and again and again hoping the child will reply, hoping even more they will find their way back. We are mammals, but we know it is pointless to call out if someone dies. We understand death. So we search in our mind for the dead person.
Especially in vain in this case, because I have been searching for someone who wanted to be dead. The vanity is a wish to find an impossible, superhuman path of love that saved my partner and kept myself safe. I don't usually love so selfishly, I hope, I believe. But in absence, I've returned to myself in a juvenile way.
Foley the rabbit is searching for Chris in an old shirt of his that I left on the floor for him. It was tucked in amongst my shirts in my clothes rail, on accident. It must smell of Chris a bit. I can't smell it. It has been losing its smell the last several days, I'd imagine, and so Foley is more still and withdrawn than usual.
Rabbits don't call out. Especially Foley, who is deaf. When I would hand Foley to Chris, usually Chris would cry. Sometimes he was too scared to even pet Foley for days, weeks on end. An impossibly soft animal that can't hear your own voice, the one you have been scared of your entire life, is a powerful force.
When I don't sleep, my wounds don't really heal. As tired as I am, I like that. Bruises on my shins and wrists from boxes, scratches on my arms and stomach, a sprained toe from where I kicked the wall during a nightmare. It makes it all a bit more real. The work of it. So much of the work is invisible, inaudible, incomprehensible.
I dream. When I do sleep. I dream that I am searching in a world where I know everything is already dark. I dream Chris comes to bed because he is visiting from death. He gets up and gets dressed and I ask him not to. He tells me he has to go to work - being dead is his job now. And then I wake up and I know he is cold and blue and bruised and bloated in a mortuary and I won't see him again.
I looked back through my instagram last night, which I've never been good at using. Or maybe I just kept using it the way I did back in 2012 when I started, because I'm a young dinosaur. I'd forgotten how much I'd survived. My therapist said suicide is a contagion. Like any disease. Maybe like abuse, definitely like HIV. You have to be careful, especially when you're queer. She's a fierce Greek lesbian who always dresses in black leather. You can try not to catch it, but sometimes it happens anyway. So just take care. Be brave; take care.
Our relationship was unsustainable long before Chris died, was over before he died, too. Except he was as clever at dying as he was at living. I was talking to someone who apologised before calling him a fucking cunt, and I immediately said, no need to apologise - he absolutely was. I think I even called him a cunt to my mom once in the last few weeks.
I then told that friend that Chris would have made much less of a mess if he'd simply blown his brains out all over the couch we were sitting on. He made one very bad bet that he was better at grooming me than I am at fighting. And he then made a very good bet that I'd clean up after he died because otherwise the violence and harm was too unimaginable.
I'm not a nice or a kind person. I try to be caring. I am often bruised and often tired. A different friend I talked to said he didn't know how Chris had described him before he died. I told him that Chris had said, "I never know whether he'll be basically ok or completely on fire." The friend laughed and said, "Oh, I'm always on fire." That sounds about right. But I'm very tired of being on fire. And I don't have to be anymore.
But my mind is still searching, still calling out, still trying to construct a sensible picture out of a black hole - a complete vacuum - an infinity of density and absence of time and light.
And. The truth is, it's not as romantic as any of that. It's just harm. It's just death. There are no ghosts. It's just me learning the ways to put down the hope and love. Some days and especially some nights I am astoundingly bad at that. So I learn. I take a shower and eat three meals a day. I don't know. I don't have an answer. We are all free from Chris now. Sometimes there is relief and jubilation in that and sometimes it is just terrible.
I bite my fingers in my sleep and somehow there are three snails in my house now that I have to catch and in an hour, the police will be here to take more evidence. That's living right now. So we do what we can. Be brave; take care.
- - -
"So we're up all night dreaming. We aren't alive as long as there's a prison guard still breathing. So, we're up all night scheming. We don't get tired, we get even. I can't sleep anyway. Wolves haunt my living room. They keep me up all night. Howling at the moon. And I'd still be on the outside of the world we dream of building. But that could never change any four walls are a prison to me. Whoa. Whoa. We might ride together 'til we reach freedom. And we might ride together 'til we reach justice. And I'll get out alone."
"She was standing on the dock, trying to hit the moon with rocks. Along came a man with his cock in his hand. He said, ' What do you think?' She said, 'I think you stink.' Then she spit in in his eye, said, 'Bye bye,' and pushed him in the drink. Then she went to the pay shower and pumped quarters for an hour. Even though she made it, she still felt violated. Wrapped the soap on a rope around her throat. Said, 'Dear God I really hope you let me into heaven 'cause I'm only eleven and I got nowhere to go.' What goes around don't come around; not in this town."
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