When I saw the movie Stepmom—with Jules and the woman with the deep-set bug eyes that every guy remembers as hot (who women just don’t think of as pretty), in a t-shirt, from Bull Durham, Sarandon (or maybe it’s her voice, dripping in self-assurance)—I cried the entire time. I needed napkins at the tender happy parts, the singing into hairbrush handles, jumping on the beds, horseback riding at dawn moments between a mother and her children. I didn’t cry when you could see the cancer; I wept at the good because I knew what was coming.
I knew when I handed you my red notebook, my most important journal, that I wanted you to last, wanted us to be an us. You asked for paper and a pen so we could tell a story, line by line. I could have handed you sheets of white paper. Instead, I brought you the shrine, knowing you would be a fixture, and I let you tag team with me on sheets in the back of my red heart. I hate how dramatic I am, how I’m a romantic, how I remember things while they are happening, before they should even be memories. I hate how I cull and hoard my moments with you. I do it because I know they won’t last.
I worry it won’t last anywhere but here, on this page, in this mind, between these spaces and paragraphs. It won’t be anywhere but here, in my memories, and we can’t even choose those. I will miss this negative space, the things we’ll never have. While apart, firsts will happen for both of us, and you can’t replicate firsts, only try to copy them, like reproductions of fancy art. But I’ll share this with you one day, and that will be my first, and it will live there, in the space between us.