Happy Birthday, Skylar

{Writer’s Note: I was writing this on November 28th, but I decided to schedule its contents to be published on November 29th. It would just feel wrong for me to publish this without giving Skylar the time xe needed to read it if he could.}

As I’m writing this, and thinking of you, it’s dark outside.

Beyond these four walls that enclose me and keep me safe from the howling frigid winds beating against the flimsy window screens and the listless pitter patter of water droplets descending to the ground.

Conventionally described as “gloomy weather.” Great weather for staying inside, enveloped by plush fluffy quilts with a hot cup of tea.

But, I guess we were never conventional, were we? If we were maybe we never would have met. If we were maybe we never would understand each other’s pain and trauma. If we were maybe you wouldn’t be dead as I sit here, alive, writing these letters to someone who may never read them.

Oh, how much this all hurts.

I can’t quantitatively measure the pain I feel in my chest every moment I think of you. I couldn’t create a dichotomous key thorough enough to identify the feeling I get when I realize for the hundredth time in an hour that you are no longer inhabiting the land of the living…with me. If there was a way I could take that feeling and calculate it and measure it and analyze it and eventually come up with a way to predict when and why the feeling would strike….I wouldn’t do it. I would never take dissect my love for you and put it under a microscope.

That’s what I’ve learned in these exactly 2 months since your passing. The feeling that hits me, like a shockwave to the chest…is my love for you. A feeling that hits me in waves of anguish, sadness, destruction, anger, remorse, grief, joy, happiness, relief, resignation. The waves are all fluid like our genders. Co-mingling and co-existing like ying and yang except it feels like the balance is disrupted, now that you are gone.

My whole world feels disrupted.

Anyway, enough about me. I’d ask how you are, but I’m scared of your answer or if you’d even answer at all. I hope you’re doing okay, I really do. It keeps me sane, it keeps me okay, believing you’re okay. Even though I miss you and am upset with you, at the same time, I only hope the best for you.
Especially, today, on your special day.

I’m not sure what rules you want to play by, if you still want birthdays and gain years to your count or you still want birthdays or stay 16 forever. It’s your call. Are you even 16? You reminded me multiple times the 2nd night after we met on that trip back to campus. I can’t remember now because at the time all I could think was I’m in love with this beautiful genderqueer boy.

But, I guess in the end it doesn’t matter all too much. As long as we’re celebrating, I think that’s what matters now. Of course, I can’t know what matters to you now because you’ve passed, and can’t really communicate it to me, but I’ll just make do with what I’ve got.

On this day, I would congratulate you on another 365 days you’ve made it around the sun. On this day, I’d tell you how proud I am of you for making it this far especially after all the bad things that were happening to you the last time we spoke and before we even met. On this day, I’d tell you, like I always did, how lucky I am to have met you and what an amazing influence you’ve been on my life. On this day, I’d tell you that you are radical brilliance. On this day, I’d tell you how I feel a heightened sense of clarity for the world around me, developed in large part by you. And I’d tell you how the clarity isn’t always beautiful but it’s never always ugly either. On this day, I’d tell you that since you’ve made it 365 days you can make it 365 more. On this day, I would ask you to make seeing me graduate a new goal for living and I, the same for you. On this day, I’d tell you I love you because I do and I would mean it.

On this day, I would do many things, all of them small and insignificant in nature and yet so impossible in practice. I would do all these things if I could. I would do anything to be able to do at least one of those things, but the reality is that you simply are no longer around and I am simply no longer existing on the same plane of existence as you and therefore unable to accomplish any of these small but impossible things.
What would you do?

Happy birthday, Skylar.
Did you make a wish? What did you wish for?
Actually, wait, don’t tell me. I hope it comes true.

And to everyone who ever loved Skylar Marcus Lee I hope you believe,
We’ll be okay.”

If you can, please donate to this fund: Remembering Skylar Lee

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