the two a.m. denial


It’s me.


It’s two in the morning here. I thought I would sit on the balcony so you could hear the rain. But it didn’t really seem like a great idea, what with me wanting to jump off and all.
Also because I walked all the way from the office today. In your yellow jacket. Alone. In the rain. I passed that fountain, where I fell and almost cracked my skull. Where you found me. And that’s when I realized, amidst that merciless downpour, that I should have told you so many things. All of which would have made a difference. All of which would have kept you alive.
That’s why I went to the balcony and stood on the railing peering at the invisible concrete fourteen floors below. After I had somehow stumbled home.
Why didn’t I jump?

I don’t know.

I guess I remembered that I would be of no use to you if I died. You would hate me from wherever you are. And also because I had a strange urge to… Somehow communicate with you. And I found your recorder on the kitchen table, collecting dust along with the silverware.
Now, it took me herculean effort to stop sobbing hysterically, to get off the cold balcony railing, so you better listen to me carefully, mister. And if I cry, wait for me to resume.
You looked like Elysium strolling down the busy hospital hallway, laughter etched eternally across your tanned visage. And you looked the same, like Elysium, waiting at the end of that aisle seven years later, tearing up despite your smile.

I should have told you, that you were my vitality. Your need to live empowered me and I knew when I gazed at your heaven-like countenance, that I would pull through.

And I never told you that. I should have. At least when you started to lose that look. When stress lines and unhappiness seeped into you and sucked the very life from your bones.

I should have told you when you let your anger reign over you. Or when you robbed the liquor cabinet of all the vintage. Or even when you slept after flushing down four pills every night. I should have told you that there was a boy of twenty one inside you, trapped under the weight of broken dreams, wanting to live.
I should have told you to set that bicycle aside and sleep in. Maybe then, I would have awoken to my usual pancakes and deadlines instead of a phone call from the coroner’s office. With a corpse that looked a lot like my husband.
I am sorry that I never told you.
I guess now, I have something to tell my therapist for the next session. She is going to ask me if I felt any relief. And I will tell her I did. I need to lie and get through this. I do not want to become one of those cynical middle-aged women who weep over their broken lives. I think I already am one but—
I won’t kill myself.

I promise you that.

I’ll close the balcony doors right now.

I’m going to keep talking to you. Communicating. Whatever.
I shall pull through this. Try to live for that twenty one year old boy I loved.

But before that,

I need to learn to put that yellow jacket back in the wardrobe.

And maybe, miraculously, sleep.”


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