On my shelf sits a firework. A small blue totem resting against an icon of Archangels Michael and Gabriel. It wasn’t supposed to be here. It should have been thrown away like all the fireworks we did that night.
4am fireworks on July 4th last year. Matt couldn't make Moapa due to work. We bought a bunch so he could light them, little kids igniting for the first time, we were giddy and loud. M yelled at us from her bedroom window. We couldn't stop laughing. Of course we chained a bunch together and made the best kind of spectacular we could, complete shit show. Those blue planes spiraled into the air creating a contrail of little stars sealing it as the favorite of all that we bought.
The next morning the girls came over to swim. Matt and I talked about children and how he longed to be a father. He was poised to be the uncle my kids could rely on for silly good times. He was that same innocent kid with a big smile and a heart that feels too much. The perfect holiday weekend filled with food, family, friends and fireworks.
He had scraped his nose a week before. It was scabbed and the sun burned around it. He did it at work.
Someplace that day it all changes over the phone. Where people aren’t always people.
Choices were made that night to follow the icy threads of dissociation. What happens when the heart that feels too much no longer knows how to beat? So we can choose to live through it and suffer or we can choose to disconnect the brain for a little while.
Humans have many ways to unplug their brain: we do it all the time. We tell ourselves we will be more social after this drink and that we can win the girl. Or after this tab we can have a transcendental experience. We are brilliant at the game that constructs a narrative that confirming our current experience. But when that experience is pain and rejection, the only confirmation is cessation.
Matt chose to inhale that which would freeze this moment in time for all involved. The moment when both couples were fighting. Amplified within the silo. Echo chambers.
What does that mean? It was the last thing he said.
I needed a break from my relationship at the time.
Three shit emojis.
We didn’t take care of ourselves and hadn’t for a long time. We weren’t capable of taking care of each other. That’s what it means.
I filled my July 4th with large fireworks this year. Lighting up the sky and reverberating in the canyon. 17 minutes of adrenaline and I got to push the fire button.
Matt, I see the Monera you always saw. I am deeply sorry you aren’t here to see the Matt I knew was waiting for you.