Four Years In

It has been four years since you checked out Isaiah. Some things have gotten harder and some things have gotten easier. We have made it through your 4th death day, and coming up on your 31st birthday. I am sure it would drive you bonkers and make you roll your eyes that I write a post like this addressed to you, but you are dead and I am left alive taking care of your mother, so too fucking bad. I am pissed at you because I have to be here for all the pain and anger your mother has to experience, but it is also so fucking dystopian for me because I had the same death wish you had, but here I am living and experiencing what is like to outlive you as well as all my own junkie buddies. The last four years have been fucked. There have been many good moments in there, and I am thankful for everything that has happened, but god damn it has been a thick soup of emotional hell since you checked out. Your mom is in therapy, getting the help she needs. We’ve stopped drinking. But I can’t say shit has gotten any easier. I would say that it has gotten harder. I would be concerned if I didn’t see progress and understand that we are doing all the hard work. It all reveals how much trauma existed in you and your mother’s reality before you even decided to check out of the world. And I am not even completely accounting for all my trauma and junkie baggage, just you and your mom’s.

We live in New York City. We went shopping yesterday to celebrate with you. It will make you scoff to learn that I actually enjoyed shopping at Ralph Lauren yesterday, and came home with a shirt and pair of paints. I hated Ralph Lauren growing up, and did not understand why in the hell you connected with the brand. I think I will go back and develop my old NYC dude look from the racks. I’ll give you credit for this. I think if you had managed to hold on a little bit more and had made it to NYC for any sustained period of time, you would have made it through to the other side of things like I have. But, you didn’t. So fuck you, I get to do the shopping and wear the clothes—-it will be my little tribute to you. It is so weird to be here and alive in this moment after you, Manny, Dave, Jim, and others have checked out. I thought about this last week because we were approaching your birthday, but also I had a particularly nasty bout of Covid, leaving me thinking about my mortality. I realized I am still here because I am a particularly nasty, mean, and stubborn human being. Nastier, meaner, and more stubborn than you. But you probably knew that after hanging with me for that summer in 2016. I am not particularly tough, just stubborn and determined to stay the fuck alive despite what the world wanted. I believe the world wanted me dead like you, but I just managed to be more stubborn than you and said fuck you to the world in the right moments. I am not better or smarter than you.

I have a question for you. What do I do for your mother on Mother’s Day now that it has become the day you died? I fucking hate holidays, but this is the holy grail of why I fucking hate holidays. This is something I can’t talk with anyone about because it will just fuck with their whole reality. Nobody wants to rain on fucking Mother’s Day. Pretty much May through June is about you these days. Which is fine, but I hope we can get your mom through the anger of these moments, cause it is all a lot to channel on an annual basis. We’ll get there, but it feels like an impossible mountain to climb this time of year. Well, anyways, as I’ve written before I am taking care of your mother in your absence. I’d like to say she is going to be fine, but I am unsure some days. You fucking crushed her dude. She will never be the same, and I wonder some days if she’ll be able to keep it together, but she manages to. The running, the lifting, and the writing seem to keep her together. I still think you are an asshole, but then again, I think I am an asshole too. I don’t mind you having your place in our world, but I wish you’d let your mom live a bit. Just let go of your grip a little bit on her. She deserves to find some peace. I promise we won’t forget you, but you gotta let her move on a little bit. She’s doing the work. She’s transformed herself, but you gotta let her become who she is meant to be for this last half of her life, which is more than being your mother and the widow of your father.