I did it. I cleaned up your space one last time. You weren’t there, but everything was just as you left it. Your hoodie and headphones were thrown over the edge of the couch, next to all the tools of your trade. They did a serious job cleaning every molecule from the bathroom where you exited this chaotic world. Your apartment door was just one of many doors that had sadness and loneliness seeping out of the cracks.
While there I heard a knock at the door. When I opened, she was 10 feet back with your death in her eyes. She walked in quickly, moving past the bathroom without a glance, but clearly her body was fully aware of it. She gathered her stuff with tears in her eyes sharing her memories while looking for each of her possessions. I didn’t let her leave without reminding her of the future she might have if she held you in her heart and lived.
Once I left and got on the freeway I could feel the pull of your place like a thin cord attached to my heart. Then immediately I could feel other cords attaching as I drove past thousands of others in a similar state. Each attaching to my heart like a needle with a long empathetic thread leading back to each human being. Collectively allowing me to realize just how many of you there are out there alone, isolated, hurting, and lost.
Then I saw everyone on the road for the Fourth of July, with their dune buggies, motorcycles, and boats. In denial of the thousands that are dying from COVID-19, but also many more like you who are dying alone. Rolling along in their trucks, RVS, and SUVs, like there isn’t a care in the world, oblivious to all of the pain. This enraged me. My blood boiled so much I couldn’t see the road. I felt warm, angry, and ready to explode.
Then it hit me like a summer rainstorm. Each of the cords pulling a single tear, releasing a deluge of emotion. I began balling like I haven’t in years, crying for you, her, and the thousands of others waiting to die alone. So much sadness just being ignored and kicked aside. So much pain that we all choose to not see around us. I didn’t stop crying until I rolled through Olympia. So many lives. So little hope. So little love to go around.