hockey.

as grateful as i am that i have not
received a paper cut in these two
years, that
cautionary slice, i am that hockey
season’s over, and with it

that pale memory of yellow living
rooms, the walls the shade of
bags in hospitals, of trails left
by dying snails
and grey shadows of the sounds
of one last game on the TV cast into your eyes,

your eyes i couldn’t see through my
closed eyelids, your eyes i felt
once in a while, while we hid
that we were
holding hands beneath my sweater.
you trailed me home and kissed my
hair,

the part of me already dead.

jwm.

my best childhood friend died on christmas day. he was a boy, but he was my best friend. my family went to the visitation back home, but i couldn’t be there. i loved him deeply, very strangely, and first. sometimes i even thought that when we grew up, when we were older, in high school maybe, we’d date. i remember a time when he was the most important person in my world. by high school we’d drifted apart of course, and barely spoke.

still. his death has broken me in a way i can’t describe to my family, or friends, or boyfriend, or anyone. only he would know the things we shared as kids that we promised would stay important forever. the things that didn’t.

i miss his existence.

that’s really the most i can say.

standards.

i’m this close to starting a “lists” category on my blog. for this list, or “new boy resolutions”, or in your wildest jesslyn dreams. this list came to thirty. i may need to lower my standards.

1. he’ll adore me and i’ll adore him, but sometimes we’ll probably have sex with other people.
2. he’ll have a car.
3. he’ll have a dope job. not to be confused with a job selling dope. not that i’ll care what he’ll do for a living. anyway.
4. he’ll have a loft condo.
5. he’ll only ask me over on weeknights.
6. he’ll be so into sports he won’t even know i’m there.
7. he’ll only watch movies that i want to watch, when i’m around.
8. he’ll force-feed me fruits & vegetables. especially when i complain about it.
9. he’ll call me for girlfriend stuff, but also for sex. except he’ll text me because i don’t like phone calls.
10. he’ll still do all the non-boyfriend stuff in bed.
11. he’ll drive me to work in the morning and stop at starbucks on the way.
12. he’ll wear ties & smoke cigarettes.
13. he’ll never take me shopping, ever, ever.
14. he’ll wine & dine me, but only at home.
15. he’ll listen to all my girl whining & we’ll both pretend he’s really listening.
16. he’ll be tall, but only to me.
17. he’ll like my pet fish and not mind that i have mild fits of insanity because he’ll get that it’s not his problem.
18. he’ll be quiet.
19. he’ll ignore my texts.
20. he’ll eventually not ignore me, but there will be the unspoken promise that he will again.
21. he’ll leave me alone when i want to be left alone.
22. he’ll call someone else if i can’t cater to him tonight.
23. he’ll have the most comfortable clean blankets that will always smell like laundry. except he won’t, because he’ll be kind of gross.
24. he’ll have a sweet collection of badass shoes.
25. he’ll be totally badass. totally.
26. he’ll get drunk in bed with me and listen to music.
27. he’ll only see me in black lingerie & we’ll pretend it’s the only underwear i own.
28. he’ll be apolitical or at least not care.
29. he’ll have fantastic. fucking. hair.
30. he’ll be completely in control & so will i.

it’ll be fucking awesome.
i’m pretty sure it’s called true love.

living.

i’m not sure whether or not i planned to come to the cemetery, but i should have worn jeans instead of shorts. i brought a coffee. and my phone, just in case. when i come here i always sit with you because you are the only person i know here. the last time i came you were alone.

i can see a train passing by along the cut through the escarpment. it makes me think of that alice munro story, where rose, i think, takes that train and looks out over our sleepy valley town as she is touched (or not) by that strange man. i wonder if she can see me; then i realize that she can’t, not because she is fictitious, but because that was a freight train.

i spent a few minutes talking to you, even though i never really knew you. i’ve talked to you more since you’ve been here than i did when you were alive, because you were so intimidating to me. i told you some jokes, or tried to. i’m so bad at jokes.

i’ll never forget the first time i came here. how we found your grave in the dark, how we searched and searched the rows. then there was a joke about “brown hair tester” and i turned around laughing and there you were. and the light; it was like you led us right here. and then no more laughing, which doesn’t seem right either. and then the bad thing happened and we left and i didn’t come back for a long time. and i had all those nightmares.

you were twenty – no, almost twenty. it was just your birthday. you’d be twenty-eight. on your birthday i was writing a love letter, like an idiot. love takes everything away, because nobody wants to lose anything. nobody wants to sacrifice anything. i’m sure that everyone who loved you has no regret.

it feels very strange to be alive in a cemetery. your cemetery, where you are. this used to be a place to drink, to smoke weed, to trip on shrooms. to do chemical drugs and sleep on the grass as the sun came up. to shortcut home after school, to take the long way around for pickles. i like it a lot better the way it is now. a place to visit you, and to tell you bad jokes and anecdotes. and drink coffee. and be alive, no matter how strange that feels.