This song just breaks me every time it surprises me on shuffle.  Granted, I put all the music on there so I shouldn’t be surprised.  Plus, I have been listening to the song for 10 years at least.  It has always moved me but I couldn’t really assign that to anything specific until John died.  I listened to that album specifically, on repeat for days because so much of it resonated with me. Some of it was about the desparation of addiction, some of it who we were to each other, some of it me trying to find someone who could feel what I felt.  I guess I knew Greg Dulli was the place to go.

So it came on tonight on my way to the gym and I broke.  Not any kind of full out cry but tearing up and paying attention to it….that’s about all I do when I break.  I know he is here sometimes.  Go ahead, do your crazy person eye roll.  I am sure it happens behind my back all the time.  Whatever.

You know I think when I see Cardinals it’s him.  *eye roll* This weekend I saw 2 at different times.  Both of them were rather playful and pretty much threw themselves at my car on both occasions.  Kind of like, “I am right here in your face, Christine.  You can’t miss me.”  And I laughed both times because I just assumed it was him deciding to be silly for once.  And I missed his  “silly,” his sometimes awkward sense of humor which just made things funnier because it could be weird.  If you know him, you know what I am talking about.  Like saying “Hey, I want to show you my room.”  Inside joke.

What we were has a number of definitions depending on the point in time but all were tight and deep for about 8 years with different ebbs and flows.  He was the kind of person who would have my back when I didn’t know it needed having, the kind of person who wouldn’t tolerate any negative talk or treatment of me.  He was like that towards all his friends.  It’s no wonder he still hangs around.

Having the birds right in my face reminded me of one of our last conversations.  He told me I was beautiful.  I laughed at him and looked away which made him mad.  He asked why I always had to make everything a joke and then he grabbed my face and made me look him in the eyes.  He told me again I was beautiful and that he had thought that the day we met, even before I lost weight, even when he had been with someone else.  That he had always felt an attraction to me and it was so important to him that I believe him.  That I wasn’t just physically beautiful but an entirely beautiful person inside and out.  Sorry, I need to pause here.  I have never shared this before and it’s fucking deep in the nerves.

And I miss hearing him say my name.  My real name, my full name.  No nicknames.  Like he wanted to know me.

The “beautiful” conversation may have been the most authentic moment I have ever had.  Called on my BS, forced to make eye contact and not laugh because it hurt him for me not to take this seriously.  I felt something real about him, a human connection, an ownership of something special and real just between us.  I would never do anything to hurt him.  I can’t say that for many other guys but I can mean it about him.  Read into it, make assumptions…you’ll never know or understand this.  It was like he saw in my eyes that no one in my life had ever said this to me or meant it and he wanted to atone for 40 years of that which he bore no responsibility.

So, no John “I can’t miss you…” I miss you all the god damned time.  It just doesn’t get easier.  “Nobody bleeds the way I do.”  Everyone is bleeding, some far more than others but no one in my exact same way.

But it’s not all sad.  His death will never be in vain for me.  I have to get something from it.  I have been on some kind of transformation since he died.  Not obvious and not all at once but something creeping farther away from self destruction – moving the scale in the better direction on my own terms.  He still has my back.  He shows up when he knows he needs to be noticed…when I need to re-calibrate.  And I thank God I am on his list of people to visit.  I don’t believe I am beautiful in any way but I do truly believe I was to him.  I was listening.

Feathers – Twilight Singers

“Wherever you’re goingI know you knew

That nobody cuts me

Quite like you do

And i’m gonna crawl

Not that it matters

Nobody bleeds the way I do

Wherever you’ve gone

I can follow

The path of destruction

You leave like crumbs

And i’m gonna crawl

I’m gonna scratch and claw

Though i am broken, i still bleed

Whoever said?

No wind, no rain, no conversation

Will bring me back alive

I got it bad and i won’t sleep

Until i breathe the sweet perfume

You love

You’re gonna crawl, my precious

I’m untethered

Waving in the wind like feathers

Feel you near me, disappearing

If you take, you better kill me

Break me, steal me

If you don’t kill me

I’m gonna crawl, til you crawl

Crawl like them all, my precious

I’m untethered

Waving in the wind like feathers-

Crawl, my love-”