Tonight I headed out of the house in a flurry of coats, hats and scarves as mid March snow drifted down chilly beautiful and utterly indifferent.
I was just popping off round to a friend’s for a cuppa, my sort of dinner in one hand, handbag in the other. As ever trying to pack something into every moment (including that quick step minute it takes me to walk around the corner), I had my phone out of pocket and my finger poised to call you for a quick hello-how-are-you? before I remembered you’re two years dead and long dusted. Awkward that.
I say it lightly but I cried and laughed as I walked down the road in the street light-studded swirling dark. Looking a little too well wrapped up to be properly crazy, but a little too emotional to be both British and entirely sane. But I can live with that.
I don’t really know why I still have your number saved in my favourites. But of course you will always be a favourite. You always were.
I’m glad I stopped with my finger on dial. Frankly it would have freaked me the hell out if someone had answered, but there would have also been something terribly sad about hearing it ring ring on without an answer…
I haven’t tried to call you in much more than a year bab. I guess that at some level I needed to say hello – so here it is.
Bab, I want to tell you that I’m not sure about much but that I know I hate the cold.
I’d like to tell you that here when all seems bleak and black and honestly I’m moody, mopey and feeling flat, I’m amazed to find myself well-loved (even on the days when I don’t like myself much). There is something achingly lovely in that without needing an end or a plan, or some sense to spring forth – you’d love it and I’d love to see you happy for my little happinesses.
I want to tell you that the fall of bills on the mat fills me with dread when I’m not sure I can pay them, that the car broke and I can’t afford to fix it, that I hate my job almost every day, that rational reason and almost everyone I talk to tells me to stick with it, but I won’t, willfully (and I smile as I say it).
There is so much I want to tell you, so I do – I guess I am. There is not a day that goes by when you’re not with me, when I don’t remember your words to me when you were dying – to live well, fully, now.
I speak you, hold you, remember you. I keep you with me.
But here we are. It’s winter, and everything is dead or dying, and it’s a triple dip recession, and everyone is miserable and that has got to seem terrifyingly normal in a matter of months. It doesn’t feel easy to simply refuse to live that way. But for you, and much more for me, that’s what I’m trying to do.
I am trying to remind myself of what I believe in, even if that makes for crazy chaotic leaps of faith, not neat mission statements or structured CVs – eek! I am trying to live boldly even when it frightens the craps out me much more back home, here, than it ever did out roaming the globe. Weird eh?
Let’s hope fortune favours the brave…
I am trying for courage and I guess that’s why I called you.