I was trying to remember if I had spent my previous birthday with you. I was trying to remember the last day we were together. Because I’m atrociously bad with dates but I knew it was going to be a year now, or soon, since I last seen you.
But, I couldn’t remember, I just couldn’t. Was it not a memorable birthday? I used to think you made my birthdays special. And yet I couldn’t remember details. Did you give me gifts? Of course, you must have done so… Then I remembered. You gave me t-shirts. (A point of contention. Weeks later one of the things you were mad or miffed about was that I hadn’t taken the gifts you gave me back to my apartment.)
I had wanted to ask you if I could use up one of your closets to put my comic books. I didn’t have much space in my apartment back then, and have even less now. But I somehow never got around to ask you. I guess I’ve never been good at asking for help. But the tees, I wanted them to stay at your house, ready for me to wear. It feels a little bit stupid to say this, I kinda hoped you’d say, “Why don’t you wear this one today?” someday. I guess I wanted for your house to be my home too but somehow it never materialized. I guess it’s my fault. I never verbalized it. Plus it was kind of complicated. Was it really your house? Your father’s house? Did you want me there all the time? Some of the time? Would you make space for me? Would you tire of me? My insecurities?
I remember one night I stayed up playing some videogame. I brought the metal chair from your office into your room so I could play and not bother you while you were sleeping. That got you mad, you woke up and hit the chair or something, I tried to explain but you were right; I disturbed your order of things. I wondered how many times I had made you feel like you were bothering me. I had wanted to keep those t-shirts at your house because I wanted to belong in it; but I couldn’t explain it then. I didn’t know how. I’m not sure I’m even making sense now.
And now, it’s my first birthday without you and to tell the truth I didn’t miss you as much as I feared I would. But I was thinking about you. I was waiting for it, kind of dreading it. I didn’t miss you that much; and that didn’t make me happy but it did make me feel relieved. But at the same time I also was kind of angry that you weren’t there with me… Even though I know that that is entirely my fault.
It was my birthday yesterday. I was at the beach all day. I saw lightning strike the sea…
And it made me think of you.