You, for starters.
I want you. I’m pretty particular, though. I want the you before the last few years, those years when you suffered too much. But, even then, I’d take you back.
You caused me to want shoulders (although I’ve always been taken with them), a broad back that I can reach out and place the palm of my hand against, long legs, a moustache. (The beard I could have done without particularly since it hid your strong chin, a good feature, which the beard was not.)
I tolerated it, though, because another thing you caused me to want was tolerance. You did not criticize me, what I did with my hair, my make-up, anything. I tried to learn to withhold judgment but I was never good at it, of not saying what I was thinking. In your presence I tried, but, since you’ve been gone, I’ve given it up.
Gone. What a euphemism. Who knows what “gone” is. I have your ashes in a box in the dining room. Those words don’t go together, I know: “ashes” and “dining,” but I don’t think anyone looks at that wooden box or even takes in what it is if they do look at it.
How can someone of your size and significance be reduced to ashes?
Dust to dust. Yes, I know the quotation.
You’ve caused me to want an inquiring mind, a sense of discrimination. I can’t even bother to “look” for a companion (I don’t want another companion) that will read poetry, study, focus as you did. I can’t imagine finding another man to fill the slot of opera enthusiast, ballet enthusiast, lover of plays, drama, good films. You fulfilled all those needs – accidentally.
It’s not as though I auditioned you.
You caused me to want someone to plan our trips. Someone to walk into my study and say, “Hon, I found this deal – Paris and Barcelona—for a week, for just $1000. What do you think?”
Or the plays in New York.
Or the tickets to the Paris ballets.
Or the music Prague.
Or the walks of London.
I want someone to lead me through them all. Find them. Arrange it all for us.
I want someone who will get in the car of a sudden and drive to Sonora for a weekend or Ashland for a week. Yosemite, Kings Canyon. Let’s go.
I want to be young.
I want you and me to be young. I can’t have it all. I had it all.
You accepted things, people. That you’re no longer here is what I need to accept.