I cried a little bit this morning when I finished my vows. I’m going to read them to her when we get married at City Hall, just the two of us, so no one can take that moment away.
Then we got into a bit of an argument. I’ve been gone almost two weeks. The separation is like a mutation in our reasoning. I don’t want to admit that it’s affecting us, I want to be better than that, but I’m not.
Greg is telling a story about last year, when his brother died. I was with him in Dubai. He walked out of his room and his eyes were red and I had heard the news from our other friend Neil just a few minutes before. I gave him a hug and then he left on a 29 hour flight home to see his mom who held his brother as he died on the floor as the neighbor took his son into the front yard so he wouldn’t see his dad die too
He’s telling the story and I’m getting emotional because he is emotional. His nephew held his hand in the car and asked to hear stories about his dad. He wanted to remember the good things about him. I am so envious of this in kids.
Greg says that the art of living is about learning how to remember the good in the past, how to look at things differently and refocus, that is the name of the piece he is delivering to teenagers that don’t know what it’s like to be 30 and to have never learned anything about the heart, only about the sharpness of iron and the emptiness of disapproval.
I think about my apartment in Taiwan, when I got the call from my brother. My dad was a cheater. A sociopath. A pathological liar. My sister found the texts. “I just have to figure out what to do with my kids.” She was 15. Four years my dad had been telling my mom that he was impotent so she wouldn’t try to have sex with him. Those same four years he was sleeping with a woman at his work. The same woman that he often brought over our house for dinner, dinner that my mom cooked.
“She’s my best friend,” he told me once.
He never apologized. He told my mom that he would murder her if she divorced him. Because he was a catholic and catholics don’t get divorced. He moved back in a year later and never apologized to anyone.
He often talks about how he and my mom are better than ever and that she is the love of his life. My mom can’t leave because she doesn’t know how. Instead she has been hoping that her autoimmune disease that will eventually get the best of her.
I look over at Mijon and she is crying. And that’s when it hits me. Not because of the story but because her tears were out of love for Greg. They will never be alone as long as they have each other. The same reason I cried in my apartment after Alexis told me that she was in love with me.
Because we were never going to be alone again. Because I had finally found that feeling.
Except this evening. When we got into an argument. And I’m 8,000 miles away and I can’t see her or hug her or do anything to make the sickness in my stomach go away. What if she runs too? She is the thing that I cannot lose. What if she doesn’t want to be that anymore?
I walk over to the back of the room and lean against the wall and cry. I don’t want to because it feels weak to do in front of people but by this point I’ve slid down the wall and lost completely to these feelings. Because all I can think about when I hear about people dying is her, when I’m on a plane it’s her songs in my ear buds, when I’m sad or scared it’s her body between my arms, it’s her face first and last and always but right now we are alone, and there is nothing we can do about it. Are you as scared as I am?