After I wrote my last post, I kind of fell apart. I had managed to get through the writing of it and I had run off to the bathroom at work to shed some tears but I seriously thought I was okay to make it through the day.
This was not the case.
At about noon, Boy saw the post and called me to express his condolences. The night before, I had heard that Tassy wasn’t doing very well and I had been upset then, but hearing that she had passed made me feel like I had been emotionally dropkicked. Opening my mouth to talk felt difficult so with a strained and clipped voice, I tried to keep my sentences short and to the point.
“Yes, I know.”
“I am okay.”
“I will let you know.”
As I work in a very small office, my nearest coworker could hear my end of the conversation and came over to check on me.
“I know it’s none of my business but I could hear you talking and I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” she said. And then, she touched my shoulder.
The entire morning I had felt ready to burst and someone touching me was like releasing a valve so I let out a sharp, strangled sound (“Hurgh!”) and started to cry. It took me a minute or two of hot tears streaming down my face before I was even able to explain what had happened.
When I finally managed to collect myself, I was told I was free to go home, but I said no because the last thing I felt like doing was going home to sit and be miserable. However, the longer I sat at my desk unable to think about anything else, the harder it became to stay composed. I couldn’t focus and my body was shaking with all of the contained emotions that threatened to spring forth from my eyes and throat at any moment. So, at around two, I managed to croak out my desire to depart and after throwing on my coat, I sprinted towards the subway.
There is nothing more embarassing than making a scene in a public space, so while I sat on the matted corduroy apolstery, I tried my best to concentrate on my damp even breathing and to fix my brimming eyes on the subway map.
10 more stops to go.
7 more stops to go.
5 more stops to go.
Finally when we got to my stop, I bolted off the subway car and made my way back towards the building where Boy and I live. As I walked, a song that I love came on my iPod and I felt my throat constrict with my happiness for the music and my sadness for Tassy.
“This is a hammer, this is a hymn,
This is a match to a ball of lies . . .”
I sped up my step and made my way into our building as my eyes blurred. I swiped my security fob maniacally in front of the lock and ran up the stairs to our apartment. And then, once the door closed behind me, I finally let myself explode the way I had want to all day. I dropped all of my things on the floor and made a gutteral bellowing noise as Boy swept me up in his arms where I remained for what felt like an hour, just sobbing and shaking.
During this time, I don’t know when, my earbuds had dislodged, but I could still hear the tiny music playing from where they lay on the ground.
“This is the howling at the moon,
These are the arms you fell into,
I am a fire and I must burn today.”
I don’t remember at what point the music stopped or at what point Boy moved me from my ridgid standing position to the couch, but once we were seated, he kissed my salty cheeks and hugged me tightly to him.
“I’m sorry I don’t have more that I can say,” he told me.
“It’s okay,” I told him, “This feels just right.”
And it really did.
When we’re growing up, we’re always encouraged to seek out the most attractive and the most intelligent person we can as a partner because appearance and brainpower count for something. And while these are things of value, you will need more than that. Because there are times when you will feel tired and dulled and pulled apart by grief and during those times, beyond anything else, the thing you will want the most is a partner who will hold you and tell you it will be okay.
Take it from someone who knows, if you have that, everything else is just gravy.
This is the song I was listening to that reminds me of Tassy. It’s by AA Bondy and it’s called “I Can See The Pines Are Dancing.” The video is random but it is a very beautiful song, so I recommend giving it a listen if you have the time.