Hey, mum. Haven’t written in a while… sorry about that. Things just got away from me is all. I was awake the other night, sitting on my porch—Oh! I gotta porch now… moreover, a new apartment. A real one. One worthy of hosting guests, should I so choose. Which I’m not likely. I’m not like you in that way. Many other ways, sure… but not that way.
Been sober over a year now! Never thought that I’d see the day, but here I am; sober and somber. I miss you.
Even though I have not written lately, there is not a moment in time where you are not on my mind. The Fall Fair happened recently. You know, the one from back home. Drew was working security and sent me some pictures. Made me think of when I was younger… when both he and I were little shits. If you only knew the shenanigans that we got up to… well… I’m glad you don’t. Or maybe you do now? I dunno…
The leaves are starting to change here, too. You remember how much I love the Fall, right…? You always seemed so alive and present during those marigold months. I think for the rest of my days, the Fall will always be linked with memories of you. A dyad of joy and sorrow.
I do okay, most days… but sometimes I am stricken with an immovable heft of grief when remembering you. I know that you’re gone, but it still seems hard to accept sometimes.
I should tell you about why I was on my porch…
I know you knew of my nightmares; we spoke of them often when you were still here. Well, without the deluge of alcohol swimming through my veins, I am left to confront the nocturnal bellum head on and with full faculty… a somewhat perfidious task some nights.
The other evening was real-bad. I had several ghosts of remembrance haunt me at once. They did not return lovingly. I saw the boy… his smell and likeness returned to swing in front of my weary eyes again. When I lunged forward to cut him down, I fell from my bed, slamming my sweat soaked body along the planks of my hardwood floor. This is when I thought I had woken up… I hadn’t.
I went to the bathroom to spritz cold water onto my face. Prominent crow’s feet stretched from the corners of my aching eyes. After dousing myself many times over, I raised my head and became witness to another ghastly reminder of the past… I saw the girl’s suicide note scrawled across my mirror in red-lipstick. I remember I called you on the day I had responded to her. You gasped when I told you. Well, in that moment on that night, I did, too.
I was frozen solid for a long moment of agonizing fright. I couldn’t breathe, move or even twitch myself away from the mirror. The first thing to be given furlough of movement was my head. I bowed my gaze downward and now realized that I was standing in the human remains of the Pumpkin man. I felt his innards slither across my toes like demonic snakes. I screamed. When my ears heard my panicked pleas, they managed a true wake-up call from within. I was back on my bed, sitting upright having just bellowed out to a darkened room. Knowing that I would not be able to go back to bed and realizing that I needed to put my sheets in the washer, the porch seemed like a welcoming place of respite. I sat outside, coming to terms with the fact that I had once again been handed shards of memory from my time as a medic by a seemingly spiteful mind.
When you were still around, I would call you in moments like these. But now, I can’t. Instead, I just look to the stars and wonder that if hidden within all their resplendent nictation lies you… are you out there, somewhere?
I know how foolish it is to think this way. But mum, I have become a grown man who fears the dark like a child. I am afraid to close my eyes because what lurks behind them is truly abhorrent and sinister. The things I once witnessed in life now play out from a place far beyond. The passage of time means nothing to demons. The same as it means nothing to grief.
Doc, that’s what I call my therapist (you’d like her), says that things will eventually get better. And she’s been right about all the other things, so I have faith that she’s telling the truth. But, mum… it’s so disheartening to live with a terrifying fear of sleep. It’s almost impossible.
I never asked to get injured. The same as you never asked to be sad… but I guess sometimes things just happen.
I’ll eventually get used to my new place and thus navigating back from the heinous realm of nightmares will become easier, I am sure. It’s just that the time in-between is going to suck!
Sidebar: My book comes out soon. Yeah, I know… surreal. Some people have even pre-ordered copies of it! Isn’t that madness…? I write about you in that book. My hope is that with the gift of these pages, you will be granted eternal existence here on earth. Pieces of you will be given to the lexicologically curious. And so you will live forever. The least I could do for the woman who gave me life.
It’s a nice day here today. I am going to end my writing and head out for a walk. I will likely be by the water. If you feel like joining me, give me a sign, mum… let me know you’re still here.
I love you. From here to the moon and stars beyond, I love you.