Learning How To Live

Jay and I

I’m learning how to live
Without you in my life.

Learning how to live, a song by Lucinda Williams, an artist that he introduced me to. I only knew a handful of songs when he died, but all of them strike a chord with me now. This one in particular today, because I feel as if I wrote this myself, thinking of the way I am moving forward in this life.

I’ll take the best of what you had to give.
I’ll make the most of what you left me with.

We argued over not being good enough for each other, but I loved the best of what he had to give. I understood it, why he couldn’t give me more. I don’t think this would have been as beautiful if he had. As much as he felt he wasn’t what I needed, he was exactly that. And what I have left of him, the memories, the feeling, the flannel shirt. I will make the most of every fleeting moment that reminds me of him.

They say the best is still yet to come
But the taste of you is still on my tongue.

I have received support from many people about him, telling me it was a beautiful love but God has another plan, and the best must be yet to come for me. I struggle to believe that, as I do still have the taste of him on my tongue. And it’s more than the cigarettes… his memory will never leave me.

I can’t forget and I won’t even try
To erase your image
And the way you made me cry.

This passage is hard for me, because we did make each other cry, but not in the ways people would think. I cried over him leaving, because we knew this was something, but we both knew he had to go. I cried that night in Sleeping Bear, because he was home but still knew it couldn’t really be. I don’t ever want to forget a moment, even the few rough ones, every moment with him was more real than anything I have ever had.

All I have left is this dime store ring
But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

This passage makes me giggle a bit, because we were not big on gifts, and our gifts were not extravagant. He found an earring walking down the street in North Carolina when we first started talking, he gave it to me with such a bullshit explanation and we feigned this romantic moment. It was hilarious, and ridiculous, but I still have that earring. I also have the rock from that week… yes… a rock… which was given with the same ridiculous expression of affection. The peacock feather was a bit more well planned on his part, and I know it made him nervous to give it to me. Too committal.

The days ahead will never be the same.
For you I might have even changed my name.

This loss has hit me on a level I would never want for anyone. This loss is not understood by many who love me. I never would have said it while he was alive, but I would have changed my last name. He was the most beautiful human, and he was the only forever thought that didn’t petrify me.

I was asked by an acquaintance the other day, how it is that I get up and function each day. I just kind of giggled and took a big swig of my whiskey. I didn’t quite know how to answer him, but I guess I’m learning how to live.



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