Fake Plastic Hearts

I’m having a hard time. It’s that time of year.I feel like a broken record. In some ways I write about it year over year.But each year is different and I struggle in different ways.  This is the year that Paul would have turned 33. He died three months before he would have turned 26. It’s been seven years, but even with the passing of time I feel the depth of the wound. Paul’s birthday is February 14th and that will forever eclipse Valentine’s Day in my mind. This is not a holiday of romance but of remembering, cherishing, and loving those…

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Between Past and Present

Dear Kimmie, I know this letter is more for me, but I needed to write it anyway.  Here I find myself in Santa Fe embarking on a new page, even chapter, of my life. In the past I’d be updating you at every step. I can’t do that the same way any more. I often tell people that grief is the sorrow of the reconciliation of a future that cannot be. Since I can’t call or text, I’m putting this out to the universe so that on some planet or alternate frequency you receive me. I miss you.  When my…

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The Angel and the Fury

We were gathered around the fire in the rain and Sara, who had accompanied Christopher, asked me, “How long did you know her?” Barely given a chance to answer, Christopher interjected, “Forever.” There was suitable, universal truth in it that really negated any answer that left my lips. It was either Will or Janet who added that Kim and I were hetero life-partners. Christopher laughed and said he was going to say the same thing. I also spoke up and said that no matter how you wanted to define it, my relationship with Kimmie was definitely its own love affair.…

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Remains of the Future

  I found myself there once again, struggling to breathe with the realization that I was mourning the future that would never be. I got the message late on Saturday night that one of my closest friends had passed away. I sat there stunned, wondering how many more times in my lifetime would I feel this particular strike against my heart and weight upon my body. Too soon. It’s always too soon and I felt like I was unfairly left as the one still standing. I met Kimmie through music. I played for Seastar and she played for Below Blackstar…

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Passthrough for the Darkness

I think it registered in my unconscious mind first before the rest of me began to wake. I couldn’t tell if it was a television or a baby crying, but the hysterical edge to the muffled sound resonated with me in a way that made me remember. I heard the expletives and the “are you serious?” carry from the ceiling above me. The frantic feeling of distress carried far better than her words. Then came the murmuring of the male voice accompanied by the female screaming. She was yelling with every fiber in her being like increasing pitch and volume…

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The Ache of the Missing Present

The ache of the missing present. I feel like sometimes that’s what grief is. The realization of what you imagined to be never taking shape. I think that’s why some of the happiest people are the ones that only see the present for what it is and take inventory without expectation. “I don’t know why they don’t just choose to be happy. It’s what I do.” The echoes of my older brother’s words after our youngest sibling, Paul, died often ring in my ears. I lost Fischer, my dog of 13 years, at the end of September. It is in…

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A Little More Certainty

I wake up to sounds. Some days it was hearing the trickle of a creek next to my window or the rushing roar of a hot air balloon. Other days it was the quiet stillness of a midwest prairie with the hiss of the wind rustling the grass, or the steady crash of waves as the Pacific Ocean jumped its way onto the beach. The sounds were only one of the dimensions that came from living in an RV. Recently I am waking up to different sounds. City sounds. Super Mario is playing as someone’s alarm, a woman is giggling…

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Let It Snow

It was a moment of disbelief when I didn’t even have the time to be stunned. Two days prior I had been in the 100 degree heat of Moab, UT sweating just to stand still. If my future self had told my past self that two days later I would be braving a snow storm in the middle of May in the mountain passes of Colorado, I don’t know if I would have believed me. Brendan and I had just left Moab that afternoon and were looking for a free campsite that had been listed off of I-70, about ten…

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The Work of Living

It was an unexpected and wonderful open mic night in Portland. Brendan and I were in town finishing up some gigs he had secured in the local area when we decided that we wanted to experience more music before we left for Eastern Oregon the next day. After a false start at a dive bar named after a potato, we decided we would try this other open mic instead. With a name like The Nest Lounge, how could you go wrong? We arrived later than the posted start time and followed some other late-arriving musicians up the stairs to our…

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Everyday Home

I keep finding reminders of the life I’ve left behind. As my time living in Seattle draws to a close I keep finding things to stumble upon. My house is on the market at an asking price that will put me at break even after the nearly $20,000 in agent commissions and fees; I’m trying not to bite my nails. Worst case scenario will leave me financing an RV at 1/6 of the cost of my mortgage. Which, when I consider that it gives me a place to live and the mobility I need to continue to play music around…

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