You worked at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
You were a rock star to me.
We had dinner in a fancy restaurant the last night I was there.
When you picked me up at the airport you were shaking and drenched in sweat, and you lit up a cigarette the minute we stepped out of the building.
It was the first time we had seen each other in 17 years. It’s a sad statement to my love life that my boyfriend from age 19-21 is still the love of my life in many ways, or maybe it’s just a testament to the fact that the heart wants what the heart wants.
After I got the call yesterday I allowed myself to pull out old photos albums and the stack of letters I never had the heart to get rid of, and going through it and remembering just sent me right into tears.
I am so sad that we couldn’t be, and so glad I left all those years ago as an act of self-preservation. Staying would have destroyed me. My leaving possibly contributed to destroying you.
For years on and off I have expected the call that came in yesterday. It was Tracy, not Ruth, who called. She was crying. I knew immediately it wasn’t good news. They found you yesterday morning in your apartment when you didn’t show up for work. They called and asked the apartment manager to check. I’m sorry that Annika didn’t get keep her dad for very long, it seems so unfair; and I’m so sorry you just couldn’t make this place work for you.
Reading your old letters brought back so many memories, details I had forgotten: letters from your mum trying to talk sense into both of us, to deaf ears–we were madly in love the way you can only be when you are 19 and 20 years old.
Several of your letters made me laugh; your twisted sense of humor. I’m glad you are at peace–and I really hope you finally are at peace. Few suffer as much as you have. I love you and I know you know that. It ripped my heart open, reading your words. I’d never felt loved like that. I will see you on the other side, and hopefully in dreams before that.
You died almost a week before they found you yesterday morning.
I’m still trying to sort out if I’m going to fly in for the service. The arrangements haven’t been made yet; the coroners still had your body when I spoke to Ruth.
I have never loved any man like I loved you and have probably never been loved by any man like you.
Because I know you felt so alone and isolated, the outpouring of love, and grief, and comments on Facebook about your twisted sense of humor have been heartwarming. I wish you were around to see it, and just how many people you made laugh.
As I read your old letters today, sobbing, I burst out laughing as well, multiple times. There was the time in Miami when two of your friends borrowed your car and returned it spray painted pink. You took it like a sport and drove around in a pink car for several years.
You used to whisper all kinds of obscenities to little old ladies who couldn’t hear, while you smiled and guided them along, and they always complimented your gorgeous English accent and gentlemanly manner while they completely missed the fact that you just whispered, “You can’t possibly be seasick we’re still tied up along the pier you fucking idiot.”
You used to make me laugh at the most inopportune times, and you were the most selfish human being I have ever met. I’m sorry I didn’t keep our baby, but we would have made awful parents. He or she would have been almost 24 now. I read the letter where in a fit of post breakup bitterness you wrote that it would take much longer to get over the loss of our baby than over the loss of me, followed by another letter in which you weren’t sure you would ever get over the loss of our relationship.
I left, and I’m sorry about that too, but at the time it was either you or me. I choose me and I’m still here. I suppose I’m selfish too.
We fell far too in love to heed any of your mum’s advice. We took a nap together and dreamed the same dream and for close to 25 years we have been able to feel each other regardless if we had recently seen each other or spoken. I always believed you were my soul-mate. Your departing just makes me want to stay here more and fulfill my life purpose; fulfill what I came here to do and not depart early. Your suicide confirms that, in a strange way. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there is a small part of me that considers following after you so we can be together now rather than later.
I’m rambling and I don’t care. I miss you; the deep timbre of your voice. I still have the test message you sent last week when you got out of the hospital. It ended up being the day you died, but I didn’t know that when we spoke briefly. I did realize that morning that you were much worse than I had been aware of.
You selfish son of a bitch (except Isabelle was no bitch), your daughter is only seven years old. And I thought we had an agreement that you forfeited your right to suicide when you became a dad.
And I’m so glad you are at peace now. I know few who have suffered as intensely and as prolonged as you. When Tracy called at three in the morning last week, I thought maybe you were on your way out here to stay with us like we had talked about. Maybe you found just enough hope to come out here and start over. I’m not sure I could have handled it if you did, but I’m sad and I miss you and I’ll probably fly to Mississippi to say good bye. And I really want to meet Annika and Tracy.
You were a rock-star, I love you, we had dinner in a fancy restaurant, you were a rock-star, on the other side, I love you, you were a rock-star, see you on the other side, my love, I sent you a text after I knew you were dead: See you on the other side my love…
You were the most beautiful man I had ever seen when we met, tall, dark with blue eyes, and dead fucking handsome. Big nose and flat feet and just gorgeous. Deep voice, northern English accent, twisted-wicked thinking, talented, brilliant, and suffering.
You are my soul-mate because you woke up my soul, because you cared about, related to, and were deeply connected to it. When we met, my spiritual awakening and journey began, it’s still in progress, and with your death you have woken me the fuck up again.
I flew to New Orleans. I just came home from your service. I wish and hope you saw how many people showed up to say goodbye. Allan gave a beautiful eulogy. We all cried.
I’ll make sure Annika gets copies of the books you have turned me on to as she gets older. I’ll do my best to see that she is well read, inspired to travel, and hopefully, better formally educated than both her parents combined. You would have liked that.
I have always loved you. I look forward to being reunited. When I gave Ruth a hug after the service before leaving, she said that you always loved me, that she knew about it, and that it was ok with her, which just busted me up crying even worse again. She didn’t have to say that, and it touched me deeply that she did.
Your daughter is beautiful, your light and your mind is in her, and hopefully not too much of your darkness. It’s so hard for me to not wish we had just stayed together, kept the baby and got married like you wanted to; or stayed together and made another baby and, the point being, stayed together, stayed together, stayed together. I can’t help wonder how different everything would have been if that had been the case.
I love you Andrew, and I’m truly sorry I didn’t have it in me to stay. I really wanted to and I wish I had.
Your mum was right: you and I are the same. “You are both the left shoe, or the right, for that matter,” she used to say, “but you’ll never make a pair. You need someone to balance you out. You are simply too alike.” I can hear her voice in my head, and your deep timbre disagreeing with her.
Good night my love, may you be peaceful. Until next time.