How do I walk toward something and not away from it?
It’s just that I have this hunch that I’m always leaving. Not entering or staying or being. Leaving.
Mondays are the hardest. It’s the first day of a week of leaving my son every morning for work. “Bye, bye, Boo Boo,” I call from our front door.
“Milk…moo,” I can hear my son in the kitchen trying out new words and refining old ones with his dad. He toddles into the hallway where he can see me. A smile lights up his eyes -his response to the familiar routine we are about to perform.
“Bye, bye, mama,” he waves. I squat and put my arms out for a hug. He toddles forward, speeding up with every step until he’s running at full speed and a little out of control. He arrives into my arms. I squeeze his tiny body in his soft pajamas and hold his warm cheek against mine. He smells like graham crackers. I want to hold him, hold him, hold him, but I get 5 seconds at the most. Before I am ready, his little body wriggles to get free. Before I am ready, my back is turned towards him leaving out the front door.
At the cafe yesterday, I left my writing. What I mean is that I stopped doing it because I got scared. I looked for any distractions or excuses to stop writing: the jazz music that inspired me earlier stopped playing, my americano tasted cold, the two women next to me are having a really interesting conversation. I closed my laptop, packed up, and left.
I guess I bit off more than I could chew attempting to write about Conor. Every word I typed fell short or felt like a glaring error. I hit “delete” more than any other key. I couldn’t say what I meant, instead a critical voice fine-tuned the entire process. It was excruciating.
Conor left a long time ago. That’s what I wanted to write. He took his life the year we all turned twenty-three.
I want to bring Conor with me, and I want to bring my son with me. I don’t want to leave anymore. What I want is to arrive and to confront the moment. No matter if that moment holds the squealing laughter of my son or the sadness of the loss of my dear friend. I don’t know how to do that yet.