After Death: Year Two

I am nowhere, I think. I have gone nowhere.

If the first year was all about survival, then the second year is all about trying to relearn things. How to sit in a restaurant as if it were just a restaurant and not where you had your last date. How to stand in a concert hall alone, feel the thump of something inside your chest, and believe it to only be the bass. How to buy a piece of art for your wall without asking another person’s opinion. How to stop rubbing your left thumb along your finger the way you did in social settings when you were nervous as if to remind yourself that no matter what there was always one person on your side. There’s no ring there now. There’s no ring there, and there’s no other body in the bed and so you relearn too how to take up space. How to move in the house. How to use an empty dresser and an empty half of a closet and an emptied out heart and how to empty your eyes at night, quietly, so the small boy doesn’t hear you, so the small boy doesn’t wake, so the small boy doesn’t learn that that you don’t know what it is you are doing besides emptying. In year two you learn there is no healed, there is only what was before and what is now after. You go nowhere because there is nowhere you can go where the grief won’t follow. And if you learn too how to love, you will love everyone fiercely, even if the love’s not returned, even if that love might be the most dangerous thing on earth.

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