From the moment you step out from the curb, to the moment your child walks out the door, everything you love could disappear. I could write right now that I could die the moment I leave work today and then it could actually happen. These could be the last words you see from me. This could be my goodbye.
(Goodbye! You've all been lovely!)
Every fight you have with your spouse could be your last.
Every well wish a sayonara.
Only we wouldn't know it. Everything is so damned fragile. You never know when the tree branch could snap and take out everything below. You never know which combination of words might be the very phrase to end your relationship.
Have you ever lost a friend? Did you know it was the last conversation when you had it?
Did you lose a lover or a spouse? Which fight (one of many) was the one that tolled the death knoll for the relationship? Did either of you realize it? Chances are one of you didn't.
Did you ever lose a loved one? Did someone ever die? One day they're in remission and the next day they'll die in a hospital of unrelated complications.
None of it's right.
None of it makes sense.
It all reminds me that it's all so ... breakable.
It's foolish to think anything is permanent, that anything will last. Human beings and human bodies are collapsible things. Psyches change even though we promise they won't. Even careful drivers blow a red light.
Even healthy babies dies of SIDS. Hence the "Sudden."
And yes, even normal people descend into the winding staircase that is mental illness. Some never come back up to the parlor to sit and have tea with guests.
These are the things that could keep me up at night if I let them. These are the things that give me pause. These are the things I quickly rush over. These are the things we ignore to survive.
But every once in a while I glimpse the black gaping maw of forever and I remember that I'm not in it. You're not in it. Everything will be sucked up into that black hole of time and cease to exist. It's just a question of when.
That's when I take no comfort in reincarnation, an afterlife, or being buried in a deep green grave. I don't want any of that.
What I want is Repeat.
I want to live this life over and over again until I'm sick of it and everyone in it. I want to repeat the bad, the mistakes, the misery and, of course, the joy. I want to see my son when he was first born, to stare into those eyes that were as deep and unknowable as the ocean. I want to hear my step-father cackle again and give me a crossword puzzle clue. I want to lay on my driveway with my friends, a ring of Big Wheels and Green Machines all around us. I want to go to college for the first time and to walk along the river. I want to land in Paris at seventeen. I want to cry into my pillow for the boy who stopped calling. I want to hear my little girl's baby-laugh. I want to meet her dad on Match.com. I want to read his letters. I want to know that our last fight was not our last.
I want to do it all over and over again and know for certain that I'll see each and every one of you once more.
That way we'd never have to say goodbye.
(I wrote this about seven months ago and thought it wasn't good enough to post. Now it doesn't look half-bad so here goes...)