I can’t remember how many years it has been, though I know it hasn’t been enough. At about this time, however many years ago. He was taking his last breaths. His life support would have been shut down earlier today, at about 9am. No one would have thought to tell me before they decided to flick the switch. No. In fact, I would only get a call when hours after turning it off, he was still alive. Still waiting.
However many years ago, at about 1pm I would board a bus and head to our shared house, procrastinating perhaps, before heading to the Austen Hospital. Intensive Care, Ward 6b, second bed on the left. Next to the window. And he would be there drooling a little, asleep. HIs mother would let me have the room for a few minutes. I’d touch him, and speak to him. I’d tell him that I don’t know what to say to a person who most likely can’t hear me. I’d feel cut off when they all come in after only a few moments alone with him.
I’d leave again knowing it would be the last time I’d ever see him alive.
However many years ago, at about 4pm I’d go to the house we had shared for so many years, until recently. I take all the shirts we’d chosen for him together. And true to my promise to him from months earlier, (from all the promises we made in jest but now I felt committed to) I would take all his pornography so his parents would not find it. And I would board another bus, and train, and return home. Wherever home was supposed to be.
Then I sat there numb.
However many years ago, the next few weeks would be plagued with nightmares about finding him hunched over in the bottom of my wardrobe. I’d see flashes of him in the street. My phone would ring and I’d answer it to nobody. I’d roll over in the night expecting to find us in our old bed. I’d try my hardest, not to forget how he smelt. How he felt when he held me. I’d focus on the sound of his voice, or the texture of his hair. Trying so so hard to remember.
It’s been quite a few years now. How many, I dare not count. But it feels like yesterday. And I guess in a lot of ways I’m still numb. I’ve never visited his grave- I can’t bear to look at it. To accept that he is in there somewhere decomposing. Being numb has been my only protection from myself.
I wonder how many more years before I start to feel it.
It’s the anniversary of an old boyfriend’s death.
I’m just remembering him