This is what happens when you break an artist's heart.
This is what happens when you break an artist's heart. It's not a suicide note, and I'm not accusing you of anything. I just want to pin down the hurricane in my head, before it rips out the levees and I really start crying. You can do whatever you want with this when you get it; it'll be yours, after all. I'm writing this to get it out of my system, so I'm almost hoping you'll get rid of it, somehow. The last thing I want to do is swallow it right back down again.
I have this, snapshot, I guess you could call it. A scene that's been looping in my head since you left. It's more vivid than a dream, and if I close my eyes I feel like when I open them again I'll be seeing the same thing.
Do you remember when you decided you were going to take up photography? You must, it was only four years ago, and you kept at it for two years. I went with you to buy your first camera, a few days before your twenty-sixth birthday; when the shaggy clerk asked you what the camera was for, you told him with a straight face that you were going to take nothing but nude shots of me, and I refused to talk to you for the rest of the day. That's not the scene, although I remember that almost as well. I'm thinking of that ritual we got into after you started printing your photos in a studio. Every print day, we did the same thing, virtually without fail. I don't know if you ever realized it or not. Anyway, Frank, I hope you remember those days. You got so worn out after printing photos; marking, organizing, labeling, stacking, organizing again, matting, filing, cataloging. It was the arduous side of photography, you said, the mindless, "work" side, and you always came back from the studio with more ink on your fingers than in them. You would collapse on the black IKEA couch in the living room, and I'd make you chamomile tea and rub your back while you complained to me about your compulsion to use real film. Then you would fall asleep, and I'd take your empty mug and watch you breathe for a while. I couldn't help it, Frank, you were a beautiful sleeper. Your lips would twitch and ghost words to match dream dialogue, like how puppies run in their sleep. I never told you that you did that, but it happened whenever - Anyway, after awhile, I would tiptoe back into the kitchen and tuck the mug into the dishwasher, and then I'd call the Loving Hut down the block and order two Deluxe Vegetable bowls with an extra large order of vegan Lucky Chow Mein and grilled seaweed. You would wake up about the time I would be dishing swimmy vegetables from recycled takeout containers into the white ceramic bowls from the artisan market, and we'd pore over the freshly printed pictures together. It was fascinating to watch you explain every photo, because you did, Frank, each and every one. Your eyes lit up like coals while you talked about them, the story behind every shot; the man in the park standing on his head told you jokes that made you fall over laughing. The "damn kid" that kept running away and would only hold still long enough for one shot before taking off again. How you laid in the wet grass for hours one frigid morning waiting, waiting to get the perfect picture of the deer that lived behind our house. You told stories with more passion than anyone, Frank, it was one of my favorite things to watch you do.
I was so proud of you. And I have to admit, I was disappointed when you gave it up. It seemed like you had found your calling, but I guess it was a way to tide you over until you found what you really loved.
The box of poems I wrote you is sitting next to my desk. You left them behind, even though you said you never would. I don't know what I'll do with them. Maybe take the box to the park and pluck them out one by one and let the wind have them. There are enough leaves on the ground now that they'll be hidden.
I know I said I was mad, but I'm not, really. I don't have it in me to be mad. Listless is a good word. I've been doing a lot of lying in our bed and staring out the window and
Okay, fuck it. Self-restraint can go to hell and suck Satan's dick, I don't have the energy to put on this front anymore. Frank, I miss you. No amount of eloquence can make this hurt less. I've tried to be dignified, I've tried to play at civility, but fuck it. Fuck. It. I miss you and I've been crying for days and the consequent headache is a bitch and a half. You bastard. What the hell did you have to go back to music for? Okay, yeah, you loved the shit out of it and you never really wanted to be doing anything else. There's that. And I'm okay with that. I'm more than okay with you doing what you love. I know I said I was mad, but I'm not, I never was, and I fucking hate myself for telling you that I was. Your birthday is in four fucking days, Frank, what am I gonna do?
Sit by the grave with balloons and a cake and sing? Because that's fucked up, even by our standards.
Frank. God, it hurts to even write your name, that's how much this sucks. No. Sucks is a mild word. This is the worst fucking thing I have ever felt my entire life. You are not supposed to be gone already. Fuck, you were never supposed to be gone at all. But this is the fucking worst, Frank, because I could have dragged you home earlier, since I know I could never have stopped you from going in the first place. Your first gig in years, a last-minute opening, you were so excited you were practically shaking, I never could have stopped you from going. I tried. Because it was our tenth anniversary and I had something planned and no, I did not want to go to a bar and watch you play guitar for two seconds. And I said I was mad. I told you to go ahead and fucking go and even though you felt guilty - guilty as hell, I could see it all over your face - you went. You were so excited, you couldn't help yourself.
And you didn't come home and the last thing I said to you was "Happy fucking anniversary" and I'm so sorry, Frank, I'm so fucking sorry.
The doctor said you wouldn't have felt anything. That it happened so fast, you probably didn't have time to figure out what was going on before you were - And I hope that's true, Frank, because anything other than that -
Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. I didn't see your car, but that's probably better because I would have to tell you what it looked like after and you would probably be pissed off as hell because I know how much you loved that car.
The dogs didn't know what to do with themselves. Mikey's watching them. They kept whining and sniffing your sneakers, and I couldn't take care of myself let alone the poor dogs and they were heartbreaking to watch so I let Mikey take them for the week. I hope you don't mind.
I miss you so much, Frank, and the last thing I said to you should have been "I love you more than anything or anyone has ever been loved" because it's all I've ever felt about you and it's what you should have been left with. And no matter how much I say it now, it doesn't help, because the last thing you said to me was "I love you too" but you weren't being sarcastic you were just pretending I had said I love you anyway because I guess you knew it all along but I should have said "I love you" because that's the only way what you said would have made sense.
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I'm so fucking sorry, Frankie.
Please forgive me.