It’s your birthday today. I wish I hadn’t remembered, but of course I did. Your birthday, but you will not grow older. You will remain untouched; there will be photographs and movies to remember you by and you will forever be the young and promising rising star you once were. Years will pass, memories will fade, new stars will rise; you might be forgotten. But I won’t forget, I will always remember. For I fell in love once…
I fell in love once. I sat in the darkened cinema and stared at you, followed your every move as you walked, talked, laughed. Mesmerized by your smile. As the credits rolled, I felt a certain kind of lightness within, I was sure I had never felt anything like it. At home, my head spinning and my mind racing, I sat behind my desk and wrote down all the words you’d put in my mind. Dedicated poem after poem to you.
In love. Silly. I knew it wasn’t real. Of course I understood that it didn’t make much sense, but I felt it nevertheless.
A certain kind of lightness. I took it with me as I travelled to Australia, felt near to you as I walked the street of your hometown. I imaged how you had walked those same streets at a certain point in your life and how we might have be looking at the same things only with different eyes. I understood that this was as close as I would ever get to meeting you.
Years passed. Australia long gone. Miles away from home, I opened my mailbox and read the news. The screen blurry in front of me. I got up, needed some air, made my way outside where the midday sun blinded me. I stood, feeling dumbstruck and frightened, thinking of the letter I never wrote to you, the admiration that would forever be unspoken . I tried to breath in and out, all the while wondering how you’re suppose to lose someone you never had. How to find a place for emotions that don’t belong anywhere.
Today, years later, I still can’t write this without tears in my eyes. Of course I know this sadness is nothing like the grief felt by others. Nothing like grief for those close to us, those we love and loose, those we know. Really know. But still there is this sorrow, my own private sense of loss; the loss of an idea, a thought. A quiet and careful grief for the loss of hope. Because, no matter how hopelessly unrealistic that hope might have been, it was my hope and it was taken from me when you died. Died at the age of 28. Found dead; lost and lonely in your New York apartment. My unacquainted soul mate, you left before we ever had the chance to meet.
And this brought about a silent sense of sadness, that I feel again today.
Today is your birthday
I wish I hadn’t remembered
Of course I did
For I fell in love once…