Now That Youíre Gone

The days are long, the nights
an endless, empty melody,
now that youíre gone.

When I dare to remember
all we shared, tears flow as if
they have no end.  I tell myself
I canít go on this way.
I have to pull myself together.
So I take a deep breath, and try
yet again, to banish the memories.
It hurts too much to remember it yet -
this loss.

The only time I seem to be able to move
is if I get the tears to a point of anger.
Better than moping, I tell myself,
but I know itís not.
On rare days, I begin to feel ok again.
Thank heaven spring is here.
Some days I can take long walks in the park
and just listen to the birds singing joyously.
On those days, I avoid our bench like the plague,
for somehow you are still there.

I read. Today I looked up, and reflected
in the blank television screen, I saw the couch.
And there you sat, on that last day,
tears streaming down your face.
Later I looked up toward the open door
and there you were, angrily carrying
all your stuff out to the car.
I saw myself then, when I realized
that youíd pulled away without
even coming back in to say goodbye;
crumbling, down on my knees, sobbing,
holding myself, for it felt as if some
crucial part of me had just been
suddenly and cruelly ripped out
and devoured, and because
somehow, you took that part of me
away with you, no matter my need.

I check my e-mail often, too, but rarely
is there a message waiting from you now.
My phone hardly rings these days.
Mostly just my mom and daughter
calling to see how Iím doing.
I work in the garden a little.
I sit on the patio and remember
you sitting there with me. I go
back in and cry some more.

I tell myself Iím going to work out.
I sit on the weight bench, and as I
lift, there is that weird black chair
sitting in the corner, and I remember
the day we made love in it and I cry.
I sit in the kitchen to eat, but nothing
tastes right at all without you here.
I moved the chairs around, but it
doesnít seem to matter where
I put those notches we carved,
I feel them there.

I sit here writing, in your desk chair,
the one you left behind for me.
Each time I lean back, I see you
sitting in it just that way in the other room
when you were on the phone. The silence
sometimes comforts, but never for long.
So I turn the radio back on. They
invariably play our song at least
once an hour, and all the others that
we ever danced to, so many that you
once sang to me too. I pretended we were
dancing earlier today, did you feel it?

I try to blank out my mind completely
when I get into bed at night, if I am even
able to get there. I canít sleep at all when
Iím turned towards your side of the bed.
When you were here, I discovered, I had
this safe and secure feeling that you
would always be here. It was such a
comforting feeling, but I didnít even
realize Iíd had it until you left. Sometimes
now, I somehow watch myself doing
the little things I force myself to do, as
if from a distance, not really inside myself,
perhaps my spirit dare not get too close,
for if it got back inside of me, I would only
start feeling again. How long do you think
one can keep on crying before all the many
tears dry up?

I find myself wishing I had a job, not because
I really want to have to work, but because
then Iíd be away from these memories for
at least 40 hours a week. Everywhere I turn,
there you try to be. There is no one
here to play soccer with in the hallway anymore.
I put the ball back in the closet. The white bear
that you gave me for Valentineís day
cries because she misses her red dragon,
so I put her in the closet too, with
all the other stuff you left behind.

When I walk to the park, I tell myself
it feels good to be walking on my own
again, but then I feel us walking in sync
and try to banish the memory
or else I would just have to turn around
and go back home and cry some more.
This is worse than death, knowing
you could be here still - if only... and then
I start getting angry again, about all
the if onlyís that you might have put
into play sooner to make it so; all the
stuff you could have done differently.

The past is the past though. We canít
go backwards. There is no forward that
Iím aware of either.

It just keeps on hurting...
So, yes, Iím ok; but no, Iím not...
The evenings and weekends are
the hardest, because then I feel you
thinking about me too; missing me too;
then the images come in multiples and
are even more real. Then too often,
I canít seem to escape them at all...

I saw a couple in the park -
arm in arm, you know.
Just standing there watching
the sprites dance on the water.
I quickly averted my eyes
and ignored the burst of tears.
I go grocery shopping. I try to shut
down completely while Iím there,
being careful not to notice the restaurant
when I drive past it, where we used to eat
before we did the shopping together.

The other day, I drove
right past Hidden Lake, where we shared
so many beautiful moments. I still canít
seem to get myself back to
my favorite quiet place either. You said
weíd be married there some day. I love it
there Ė it used to bring me peace when I
felt all washed out like I do these days,
but that memory of us there together
stands in the way of my present need. I wish
I knew how to get to that temple we visited,
where vibrations ran so high they reached the sky
but Iím sure I donít remember all those
twists and turns you took on the way.
That might help a little;
sitting in such peaceful, uplifting silence.

So suddenly, shockingly gone...
I feel lost these days, just lost. I start out
sometimes, heading somewhere with
determination to get myself out and going
again. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it
just fizzles on the way. Steve has noticed,
I can tell, that you are never with me
when I go there anymore. He hasnít asked,
but heís been extra nice to me lately. Somehow
although weíve only shared short exchanges,
and I put a smile on my face when I say hello,
he always knows when something is bothering me.

I canít write about this anymore right now...

It is as if there were a wave of sorrow -
endless, like the oceanís tides,
welling up, then flowing down in tears.
I actually feel pain in my heart sometimes,
real pain Ė too real, as if suddenly some
errant memory were trying to escape,
and my heart were trying to hang on to it.
My heart invariably must let go, and then
there it is: loving feelings floating away
again; no idea if or when they might return,
and I am left with yet another emptiness.

I lost Midway airport, that first day we met,
when our eyes locked and everything just
fell into place so perfectly. I lost that one yesterday.
It floated away. I cried. Now all the other times
there are loosening, I feel them, must not resist.
The day you left when you cried and I didnít.
The time we both cried, and you ran back to
me one more time to kiss me, even though
theyíd called your name as last passenger
to board. Now I see you leaving in the limo.
When I just couldnít bear to drive you
to the airport to say good-bye again.
That was the day we took the pictures.
Just the other day, that older couple
that said they had noticed us together,
they walked by and said hello. She could tell
you were gone somehow by the empty chair,
where we used to sit together on the patio,
and she gave me a look of real sympathy.

I wonder if you are looking through pictures
tonight or something. I see them flashing
through my mind now, without having
looked at them for months. That day on
the patio. You even took a couple of me,
with that teardrop top on, remember?
Last night, I swear I felt you running your hand
gently over my leg, like you used to do,
so much love in your touch.

It almost seems as if we both attempt
to use anger to keep ourselves focused
on other things these days, so we donít
just cry all the time. This does not seem
like a good thing at all. So today, I let
the memories flow along with my tears,
even as I write this to you. Iím not heading
in any particular direction. I just feel the
need to do this, as if somehow it might start
getting easier to go on if I get it out. Reading
Rilke helps me get to writing about the most
difficult subjects. Itís as if his spirit helps me
then; for he remembers so very well the many
feelings of life and love and loss, even in the
realm he inhabits now. And he somehow guides
my hands, and it doesnít hurt quite so much
when he does. The tears flow, but at least the
pain in my heart lessens a little.

Jim finally got the message that I needed
some space for a while now. It seems Iím past
needing a friendís presence to banish yours,
to keep the pain at bay a little longer.
I needed that at first. It was overwhelming me.
The tears are somehow turning clearer, too.

I remembered quite distinctly today, making
love with you, and how more often than not, at
a certain point, something inside of me
would open out, and it was as if the gates
of heaven itself were opening then, and
somehow heaven seemed to rush through
my being into reality. This world needs more
of heaven these days, so desperately, too.

Last weekend, when the weather was warmer,
I sat on the patio. Cars kept pulling in and out.
I kept seeing your silver dragon pulling back in
next to my white unicorn. I swear I heard it too.
How great the surge of hope then; how swift
the stab of disappointment when I looked
and just another stranger had pulled in.

Another day, I walked over to check my mailbox,
through the green sticker parking lot, remembering
that big heart in the snow that you had pointed out to me
(Was that really only two short months ago?)
and noted how quickly another car had filled your favorite
space there. I wondered if you still had the green
sticker on your windshield. I kept walking.

Two nights ago, I noticed that my star is back.
The one that only seems to be visible during
certain of the warmer months here. The one
I bonded with a few years ago. The one I have
wished for love on so many, many times. Somehow
it gave me some strength, just seeing it again, and
allowing the starlight to filter through me. Perhaps,
that too, is helping me to do this now.

So I kept telling myself, that this
was it. No more. This had to end.
I went into analyzing everything, to
convince myself I had to do that.
The reasons, the rationale, the facts
all led to the same conclusions, no matter
what angle I tried to look at it from.

I drew from past experiences
of times when a relationship had ended
between myself and another. I cried,
but only so much, for I couldnít let myself
be overwhelmed completely. I got angry,
well, you certainly know about that, to
keep you at bay. I tried other techniques
that had worked for me in the past, when
I needed to re-focus and stop thinking
about someone else Iíd cared about.

I started to get a little strength back. I
began, for short periods of time, to feel
like my old self again, even with confidence,
remembering how many times Iíd gotten
through so much difficulty and still been okay -
and strong, even if on my own. Then night
would always fall again. Or youíd call, or send
a message, well-intended, I know. And all
the resolve Iíd built up would just somehow
begin to slip away again.

So now Iím here, writing to you again.
Lost. Not knowing any more right now
than that I donít know how to handle this
at all...

The days are long, the nights
an endless, empty melody
now that youíre gone...

? Michaelette ?

Copyright© 2001 Michaelette L. Romano
All Rights Reserved
Take me home...