I spent my New Year’s morning backing up all of my old files on my laptop. Not the most thrilling way to ring in 2017, but it helps me with that whole “clean slate” feeling. I then went to back up my iMessages. And that’s when I started scrolling through our entire history. I’ve been truly on my own for months now, and I’ve been reflecting on the past and who I was and currently am.
It’s been over a year and a half since the last time we held hands. It’s not even the handholding that I miss most though. It’s not the interrupted conversation kisses, the lovemaking, or even the Thanksgivings up in Oregon with your family. It’s the fact that I lost my best friend. That’s not me idealizing anything – that’s just the truth.
I pulled out all of my old pictures this morning. Printed, not digital. Remember when we used to do that? Pick up our photos from Walgreens or Long’s or Costco. Remember the tangible? The things we could feel with both our hands and our hearts. I think I am addicted to nostalgia. So I look, knowing even the good times will hurt, too.
It was green. So, so green. The epitome of earthiness. The Tegalalang Rice Paddies reminded me of green tea and tamarind. Sprinkles of lemongrass and sprouts of Cleopatra’s rose. I stared so long I swear my eyes began to bleed into the sky. Standing out over the edge, I realized this is life. This is what living must be. And I regret that I had not done more of it. It was set behind miles of street markets and bustling cement roads. Watching women sit under ceiling fans and men pick bits of banana from their teeth. I wandered into the most stunning textiles shop. I cannot possibly describe the colors. I was feverish from the amount of colors.
It’s the sound of handcuffs locking around his wrists. It’s the cops taking him away. Far, far away. For years and years. God, yes, it is the sound of handcuffs. It is calling Gavin, calling Ashli. It is sharing the news that is nearly two decades late. But better late than never. It’s knowing I’m going to be okay. We are all going to be okay.