Ten months ago today, I woke up and found Billy's body. Ten months and about one and a half hours. I really can't find words to describe that moment or even the last ten months since I have had no prior experience at seeing my entire life fall apart. But more important than that, I have no experience of imagining Billy's life being over.
Billy was so full of life and had so many plans and dreams. He was working toward going back to school to be able to work with kids. He was starting an eBay business from stuff he found and fixed. He wanted to design pillow cases and sell them on the boardwalk until he could get them into a retail outlet. He was getting his passport so we could go to Europe (he really wanted to go to Ibiza and I wanted Morocco - it was going to be a two week trip). The dreams were endless because to Billy, anything was possible. He never censured his dreams and rarely censured his mouth. Ten months since I got to hear about one of them from his voice.
One of our many routines he created was I would be kiss him on the lips (I'd ask "hard or soft?" first and he would decide whether the kiss would be full-on or a peck) then spin him around and wrap my arms around him from behind. He would ask, "Do you love me?" and I would say "With all my heart." Then he'd say, "Do you need me?" and I would answer, "Like the air I breathe," and finally he would ask, "Are you going to keep me?" and I would tell him forever and ever. Those three questions (and this game had to been running for about eight years) were our backbone. Ten months since I got to answer those questions while feeling him in my arms.
I am too inarticulate to describe what these last ten months have been like. From the brink of insanity and suicide to relative normalcy then back again. It's like a train: the left track (brain) is going straight ahead and everything makes sense. Billy died. I have to go on. Things will somehow be ok. The right track, however, is winding back and forth. Sometimes it gets really close in synch with the left track and other times it couldn't be further away. It has irrevocably changed me but more important to me than that, it has irreversibly changed Billy.
I hate that this might sound self-pitying because that is something I loathe in others. But the facts are I am jobless in a downsized economy. I lost the only thing I really cared about (my Guyster). I have a 13 year old dog who I love with what's left of my heart and I cannot imagine Billy not being here with me when the day comes for Bob. I have amazing friends who have loved and supported me for many years. This last fact has kept me going more than they might realize.
OK, now what? I live my life by being the best person I can be. I will make Billy proud. I will complete some of our dreams. I will carry on some of his work. I pray. I wrap my arms around Bob at night, close my eyes, feel his warmth and pretend he is Billy. Ten fucking months.
A week from this Friday, it would be our 10th anniversary. We always planned on being in Europe for that event. That was one of our goals. Instead Bob and I are going to Joshua Tree (another unrealized destination for Billy and me). For the first birthday present Billy gave me, he registered a star in my name. It's named OrionRA6h3m12sd1027. I'll hug Bob in the cold desert night and look up and maybe that star will be shine a little brighter than the others. But it will be ok because I will feel Billy's warmth and presence and love surrounding me. He is my angel and he's the best anyone could ever ask for.