What do you give to someone who knows more words than you, when all you have to give is words, words they’ve seen and heard long before you knew what they meant?

As working habits attempt to revert to what they once were, they struggle in the knowledge of what it means to honor a pattern. I’m reminded how much life has changed and how it means more to save my energy for him, in moments throughout each day, and especially at night.

All the balloons released to the sky each day are disappeared. When it’s quiet, I use darkness to renew wishes, because that is where wishes are made. And then I try my best to sleep.

Last night I visited a home unfamiliar and sat in a circle of women unknown to me. One woman was facilitating the discussion and kept referring to a storybook. I found myself listening but not participating because I felt she was ill-informed and because my thoughts of him were more interesting.

She turned to face me in my silence as everyone prepared to leave. She said she knew who I was thinking of, and that he was on his way to pick up his wife and new baby girl. She then turned to the only other woman besides us who’d not yet left the circle, occupied with a beautiful blue-eyed cherub and my heart broke but I smiled, because witnessing beauty helps you smile sometimes.

Her name was Pamela, but I didn’t want to acknowledge her, to say hello or goodbye, so my exit was without fanfare, and deep down, I sensed it was welcome. Walking home, I cried, not knowing what to do with my reserved words or the balloons that used them for fuel to reach the skies.

Once home, I moved in numbness, the condition in which dreams and reality converge in mercy, providing just enough strength to follow habits of survival, but not much more. As I walked mindlessly from room to room, I heard a knock at the door.

When I opened it and realized it was him on the other side, I couldn’t move. His clothes were from the ’70s, he’d grown a full mustache, and though all I wanted to do was hug him, I stared motionless, holding the doorknob and expecting to drown in a sea of my own making.

He half-smiled at me and I half-smiled in return. The numbness didn’t know whether fantasy and reality had merged, or whether a new fantasy had eclipsed reality in its entirety. He didn’t speak; instead, he began aggressively pointing towards his truck parked against the curb, before turning to point his finger at me and then quickly using the same finger to point at my car parked a little further in front of him.

I’d been holding my breath so in response woke up. Then I cried because he’d been so physically close yet I couldn’t go back to hug him, to touch him once more. I felt to have understood something while not understanding something else at the same time, and my heart broke all over again.

He’d traveled years to find me, and knew who I was before I even recognized him. In his expression, he wanted me to know he wasn’t following to hurt me but was following in love. He’d chosen not to use words because he perceived that my seeing his face would mean more than all of them.

He taught me that love can be comforting and sorrowful at the same time because, in my heart, I knew he would never leave me, though physically, he is already gone.

I feel indebted to him in some ways, ways he may never understand, but he found some secret passageway into my heart, that I didn’t even know existed. I feel like I owe him because I’ve spent the last few years walking through it to find the way out to seal both the entry and exit.

All I’ve come to learn is that he never took the exit, and that my heart is where I’m meant to stay.

Just like my dream, I awaken with the doors to my heart open.
Until reality eclipses words and love eclipses dreams, the book of love remains unpublished.
So it is with feathers in our hands that we must continue to write.