Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dear Dream,

It's been a month since you killed yourself, and I am still so mad at you.

I'm mad that you could do this to your friends and your family, that you had such a low opinion of them that you just left them. That one more time you refused to compromise for anyone, that you refused to meet anyone halfway, that you were even more selfish than I had ever given you credit for. I don't believe that living only on your own terms is worth being so cruel. I have a hard time believing that it's true some days, and several times I have almost called you to tell you that you have taken this experiment too far yet again, only to realize that if I did call no one would answer. Because it is true.

And I'm mad at you for me, of course, because I feel broken and poisonous, and no matter how much people try to convince me otherwise, I can't shake it. Because I've always found it hard to trust people with too much of myself, and I'm afraid that this has made it even harder. Because I am a girl who breaks things, and this thing can't be fixed. Because you wrote those songs about me and I only got to hear them after you were dead. Because I still wake up every morning with guilt crouched on my chest like a gargoyle, and it takes everything I have to push it off and get out of bed.

I'm mad at myself too, though, because when it mattered most I failed at the one thing I've always tried to be. And regardless of whether I could or could not have done anything, the fact still remains that I didn't try. That I was selfish and hurt and exasperated, and that I let all of that get in the way of being kind.

But maybe it's better for you this way. I think this was a poem you've had in the back of your head for a long time now, that someday you'd go somewhere snowy and finish what you almost started all those years ago. In one of your letters you talked about living in Maine during the winter, about how you kept a pile of clippings about people that had lain down in the snow in those woods and fallen asleep, and never woken up. "Obituary clippings of whom you keep loose in a drawer to remind you that it's not always bad news, and that there is a good way to go. But not today."

I guess your today finally came.

People have been shattered on the rocks of your decision, because you were someone that affected people profoundly. And I guess the only thing to do is gather up our splinters and move on, with one less person around who will drop everything to make us soup when we are sick, with one less person to argue with until we want to scream or break things or both. I'll get better, with luck and help, regain the pounds that I have lost in the last few weeks, stop fighting so hard to stay stuck together in public that I cry until I throw up when I get home. Eventually I'll date someone again. Time is funny like that, and it's lucky for us that that's the case.

I wish that you had had more time with everyone, that everyone had had more time with you because whatever our differences were you were a worthwhile person to have known. But that wish is silly, and selfish again, because more time is not what you wanted. And you were a man who always got what he wanted.


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