I shoved my face with crappy chocolate during the meeting tonight.
Crappy, stale hersheys and rolos hard as pebbles and I’m pretty sure
I consumed the paper cupping the reeces, in my haste, in my eagerness to
erase what I found out today, that you, they wrote, “passed away.” Usually, I text
you, whether you’re just listening in or sitting next to me; you make me laugh
and I have to pretend I’m coughing.
I didn’t pay attention to your coughs.
I am angry. I did not know you had any chance of waning. Your oxygen tanks
got heavy, it seemed, grew empty too soon, arrived too late, but still, you
never said you were close to running out. I want to ask you about this, right
They want to pass another resolution; this time, about you. I want to hear
your reaction to that one.
I sit and listen, sort of, and there’s no one to chortle with, no one who gets
the ridiculousness, who can share my angst. Motions, seconds,
minutes, memos, sorrow, rage. And we never got drinks. Never
met each other’s wives. It was always going to happen, soon, right?
They still don’t really get why we’re here, Chris. I still don’t understand
what the point is, if any of this is worth it. We sit and argue and debate
and struggle to communicate, shuffle papers, take notes, slug coffee, pretend
we know what we’re talking about. Try to take change seriously. Try not to
take ourselves too seriously. Give up, hold strong, give in, stay put? Hard
to say what really matters, in the end. What is right, and true, and good.
And to what end? Yours? I spend the night waiting for you to arrive
somehow. I scribble on the agenda items and crumple the silvery wrappers
and then it’s over and we had a moment of silence and it was a big
empty hole and you weren’t in it, and then we are adjourned, to meet
again, to meet again without you, on paper, and with our
well-intentioned resolution to remember your laugh, your cough,
the precious rasp of every last breath that we catch
for just enough to love it, and that is, must be, enough. But
you know, it really isn’t.