I want my words to leave a bitter sweet nostalgia on your lips.
I want them to follow you to sleep and tangle with your sheets.
I want them to fill you with longing and wistfulness.
I want them to remind you and I want you to cry.
I want them to fill you up with hope and ring you out to dry.
I am not a piece of art to hang on your wall, I am the roaring ocean that you struggle to stay afloat in.
I am not a song to be played on repeat, my voice is the deafening scream that rings in your ears long after I’ve gone.
I am not a rose waiting to be picked, I am the fire that burns forests to the ground.
I am not the ghost haunting your dreams, I am the demon who has come for your soul.
I am not to be consumed, I have come to consume.
When I heard what happened, I realized how much you loved me.
We all went camping that weekend, down by the lake. We were sitting around the campfire enjoying each others company, when my friend said she was getting home sick. Without skipping a beat you asked if she wanted to be driven back home. She did, and you drove two hours to take her.
Mom didn’t come camping with us, and once you dropped off my friend you decided to stop by the house to check on her. You caught her with another man. You left without saying a word to either of them.
You came back to the campsite. You smiled and acted completely normal,or maybe I was so young I couldn’t tell anything was off. You had just caught your wife cheating, but you didn’t want to ruin the trip for us. You smiled into the fire and maybe I didn’t catch that far off look in your eyes.
You kept so much hidden. You were such a good actor. I recall that weekend as one of the best from my childhood, and it’s seared into your memory for so many painful reasons. You didn’t let that pain swallow you up, you didn’t even give yourself time to feel it. You just came back with that smile on your face.
That’s what a great father you are.
My father didn’t say I love you with words, he said I love you in the way he let me have a sticker window in his brand new car.
He said i love you by accepting every weird phase I went through without batting an eye. He made Sunday morning pankcakes for the brick I carried around for the better part of a year. He helped me train when I was sure I’d become a professional hockey player. He never discouraged my dreams, even if they seemed impossible.
He said I love you when he stopped going out with his friends because he could see the stress it caused me as a child. And when he did go out, he loved me in the way he’d answer my phone calls every ten minutes to reassure me he would be home soon.
He loved me in the way he’d make sure my Halloween makeup was perfect every year. He loved me by driving an extra two hours each day so I could go to the same school as my friends. He loved me by working long and hard hours so we could live in the better part of town.
He may not have said “i love you” very often, but it was in everything he did. It was in the way he woke up and in the way he fell asleep.
I’d take that over words any day.
Waking up next to you is a thing of beauty, but I don’t need something beautiful in my bed. I can walk outside to the sun rising and be just as content.
Brushing my teeth next to you always makes me smile. But so does having the sink all to myself.
Drinking coffee with you is entertaining, but so is a good book.
Going to the movies with you is so much fun, but so is going without having to listen to your commentary throughout the entire show.
I do want you by my side, but I am complete with or without you. You are not the air I breathe or the water that nourishes my body. You are very much wanted, but you will never be a necessity.