Things We Don’t Give Up

Didn’t really wake up until six this afternoon. Headache.  But that went away.  Had a dream about an old friend from my high school days.  He was short in the dream and had white hair – a sort of blonde Moe from the Stooges.  He admitted to me about having doubts about his faith.  More happened I’m sure but I don’t remember.  The coffee maker woke me up. I tried pouring a cup but it made no difference.  I couldn’t even make myself watch the fish – though I did manage to turn on the tank lights. 

Now I’m awake and it’s 10:30 at night and I have no intention of sleeping any time soon.  I’m watching Youtube music in a living room that isn’t mine and a house that isn’t mine and there’s no one around except for the voices in my head and the ghosts that are so bad at conversation. 

So I write. 

It’s all nonsense.  Just me talking to myself.

I suppose I’m also prompted to write because of a text I just got from Tyna.  It doesn’t matter what the text was about only that she sent me a text and I can’t bring myself to say it came from my ex-wife.  I can’t say “ex” because I don’t know what has been “X”d, or what I’m supposed to give up.  Haven’t we given up too much already?

Give it time they say.  But I live in the present, and the present is timeless.  They say you must put something down to pick something up.  But certainly we don’t need to put everything down.  Empty the cup so you can fill it.  But fill it with what?  And why not just dip a little out to make room for cream or a bit of whiskey?

I can’t say ”ex” because we’re still in China, walking the streets, sniffing out the best dumpling makers, the best hand pulled noodles.  And I’ve got my camera and she walks on ahead so I can get a picture.  And our two cats, Didi and Meimei, sprawled out on their backs in the middle of the floor.  Or Kitkat, our first cat, who ate the gerbils, leaving us the tails, like furry worms, on the carpet.

I won’t put these down.

Or in the hospital with her mother when the doctor led us into the hallway to say we should call the family together, because when the kidneys go … And a few years earlier with her father lying in bed at home, all tendon and bone, appologizing for expecting to die at will.

I will not let these slip from my cup.

I will not let them fall into the past tense.

Especially you,Tyna.

I will not say “my ex.” I will never say “we were…”

There is no “ex” to what matters.

I will say “In the beginning…”