There’s a Dylan CD sitting in my Amazon shopping cart for four years now. I put it there as a bookmark in the summer of 2011, as a reminder of a gift I wanted to buy M for Christmas that year. But it was a different holiday than we all expected. Much as I would like to buy the CD for myself, it stays there as a reminder, a moment frozen in time. He is always with me, and that’s something I becoming more comfortable with, odd as that may sound. I carry him in my heart, and my head, while building, or at least trying to build, a new life, with a new love.
I had a dream a few weeks ago. My guy and I were at a party, and I ran into Mikey. We talked, the way old friends who hadn’t seen each other in years would, without missing a beat. Soon it was time to leave, and I glanced towards my guy waiting at the door. I looked at M, and said with an awkward hesitation, “I have to go now”. He looked me in the eye, and said, “ I know; it’s okay”. We hugged goodbye, and I walked out of the party, hand-in-hand with my guy, feeling happy and at peace. That’s how I felt leaving North Carolina this weekend, my heart and mind well-nourished after spending time with a dear friend who gets me like no one else in the world. And like Ilina, I know that dream was not the last I will see of M.
He is in the cardinals I see all around; reminders of the birds that used to grace our backyard in Brooklyn. He’s in the poppies that bloomed in our garden upstate this past spring. He’s in the Batman USB key that I couldn’t help buying when I glanced at it in a bookstore last week. He’s in every juice glass I admire, whispering in my head, “Why can’t we have big glasses to drink from?”.
As my guy and I settle in for our first Christmas together, I’m thankful for his patience and willingness to navigate this all with me. The love he’s given me, and the way he shows it, is the most beautiful gift of all. Merry Christmas, baby.
Music Pairing: Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year (parts 1&2) by James Brown