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Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
The missing sky
Last night, I watched the Golden Globes with habitual determination, my thoughts often wandering to the evening’s excruciating significance for Billy and me. I read my journal entry from last year, one that asked the same questions I suffered last night, or most nights for that matter. The first post I wrote two years ago, scratched out a year after Martin Luther King Day became cursed, was clumsy but the fresh facts were in place; last year’s had more perspective with an improved, more fluid syntax.

I’m still trying to piece together the puzzle; its borders completed, but a large block of solid blue pieces that connect the earth to the sky are missing. The bottom of the puzzle has all of its elements: my near head-on car crash, Billy inexplicably volunteering his password to his private email account, the card he gave me ten days prior to Martin Luther King Day that featured a poem of angels and belief. Perhaps my favorite part of the puzzle is the last mental video clip that loops in my mind with sorrowful jubilance.

I played that clip repeatedly last night while watching the Globes--I was lying on Pee Wee’s couch, Bob asleep at my feet, the show winding down to a Moulin Rouge victory. Billy worked behind me, staging his eBay items as he took picture after picture to upload for his future sales. I looked behind me and that’s when I saw him, the man I was proud to marry.

The mustache as expressive as Chaplin’s, his animated look of focus made me smile with pride. He’d come so far, survived the hell of addiction, and there he was, fussing over the backdrop sheet to make certain each picture captured would boost the price of his goods. He was happy and hopeful again. Looking at him, that first blush of love that I had felt almost ten years ago returned. I didn’t say anything. I just let the moment privately glow for me without sharing it with him.

Around half past eleven, I went downstairs to bed with Bob, Billy assuring me he would be down soon. That was it.

Here’s where I’ve lost some of those pieces to the puzzle, the blue ones of the sky. The coroner said it could have happened anywhere from one to four in the morning. I rarely fell asleep before Billy, but that night I did, probably a little after midnight. I don’t even remember feeling particularly tired but I fell asleep without him next to me. Usually, I would have retrieved him from upstairs with a whiney, “C’mon.”

I didn’t. I fell asleep, instead. Shortly afterward, so did Billy, although he’d never wake up. The why part of the sky is missing.

If I look carefully at the rest of the scattered pieces to the puzzle, I can see that there’s a bright orange kite meant to float in the endless blue, high above the ground, cascading in the breeze. The jigsaw is a bare table from where kite soars to earth's hard ground. I know I should give up trying to complete the damned puzzle, its missing pieces probably gone forever, but I can’t.

I can’t figure out who would make such an intricate puzzle only to leave out the best part, a kite left in limbo with its sky missing.
13 comments or Leave a comment
tedwords From: tedwords Date: January 17th, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Somehow, I don't think you'll be able to put down this puzzle until all the pieces come together. How did he pass away, Guy? (If you don't mine me asking)_
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 17th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
The short answer is a massive heart attack. Billy was 39 years, four months, and nineteen days old.

A fuller response can be found on my User Info page or here
tedwords From: tedwords Date: January 18th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)
That link really helped a lot...I didn't get any of that from your info page.

I'm reading through that link right now, and I hope this doesn't sound disjointed (I've got two kids and a Corbster running around, playing video games, and just plain being noisy...)

It's so hard for me to comment on stories like these, because I find them so moving. People sometimes ask why I sound testy, and it's hard to say, "because I'm caught up in something bigger than me!" But that's how I feel, because what you're dealing with here...it goes down to the core of your soul...and it's so beautifully worded...and it makes me sad to think, "what if?"

Your love for him is so...sparkling.

I do have to say this, on a lighter note...this section here:

In bed, Billy and I were a perfect fit, in the way he folded into my arms, on our sides, drifting to sleep as I held his warm body and joined him. We were close sleepers, every nighttime a choreographed slumber, with Bob wedging in as closely as he could.

That so reminds me of nights with Corb. That's totally how it is. Totally.

renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 17th, 2005 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe there is no why, maybe there is no sky. Maybe the kite doesn't need anything to anchor it to the hard ground.
spigotmd From: spigotmd Date: January 17th, 2005 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know I don't know you that well but my heart goes out to you. I can't imagine how you felt that day and how it feels to think about him
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 18th, 2005 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I think about Billy constantly. Sometimes, it grabs my lungs and I can't breathe while other times, I just smile and melt.
spigotmd From: spigotmd Date: January 18th, 2005 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I wish I knew what to say, sorry just doesn't seem to do it.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 18th, 2005 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
That's okay. It's great to know you're listening. Thank you.
shawnsyms From: shawnsyms Date: January 20th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm listening too, Terry.
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: January 17th, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful post. Thanks, td, for sharing this.
From: danman869 Date: January 18th, 2005 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I wish I could help you with this puzzle. I hope you will find your answers one day--soon.
quuf From: quuf Date: January 18th, 2005 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Once again, I wish I had words to blunt the hurt, but it's far beyond my power. I guess the important thing is to fasten onto the happy memory of the man behind that Chaplinesque mustache, the man you loved and were so proud of.

In the meantime, the puzzle will be worked on, whether it has your conscious attention or not, whether it's capable of solution in this life or not.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: January 19th, 2005 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)
dammit bub,
got nothing to say to that other than I feel for you.

be well
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