I don’t know

Don’t need to know. Don’t need to be so consumed with information that I forget to tell you I love you. Life is short, they say, and they’re right. In the grand scheme of things, our time here is brief. Time here is made up of passing days thinking about what we should have done all those years ago, what we wished we had taken more time to do, what we hope doesn’t happen tomorrow, all this worrying. It’s exhausting. It’s guarding, in a way, that which we hold dearest. Many of us, it’s true, don’t want to get to our last days with regrets that engulf us. I am no different. Don’t want to know what it means to reach my last birthday without knowing it’s my last. Knowing is comforting. Knowing is comfortable. Knowing, too, takes the magnitude of life’s biggest moments and boils them down, grinds them into a fine powder, giving us permission to put them neatly into a shaker that we can pull out of the cupboard and sprinkle whenever we want. To know, truly, in every sense of the word, means I can predict a future.

The only thing I want to know at the end of my time here is that I told them all I loved them my whole life. Even when I did not know. Even when they were but a stranger, our spheres having not yet collided. I want the writer in me to have thought up a thousand different ways to show my dad that, despite the roadblocks stopping us from reaching each other, I have shown up in the ways I know how, hands shaking but arms open. I want this saxophone heart drawing rhythm outside the lines; there will be a hundred notes behind me, a thousand more to go, no end in sight. I want the artist in me to have painted every person I’ve fallen in love with in the softest colors. There are no villains in these stories. Just people. Kissing between epiphanies. Letting go when it’s time.

If we haven’t talked in a while, I want the silence between us to be a warm blanket rather than a cold, jagged cliff. There may be miles between us but I have loved you before and I will love you after we get over this, after we move from known to unknown; we have lived a lifetime of heartbreak and swelling and despite all of that, I have loved you. I will love you.

I don’t really know. Not definitively. Not what forever means nor the bounds of imagination that can put us back together again. Knowing steals the depth of every emotion that I have spent a couple of decades reaching for, expanding, stretching with my hands their capacity each time they show up unannounced. I want to name every flower I can without being able to name them all. I want to still have discoveries ahead. I want wonder as a friend. I want to be friends. I want the air in my lungs to excite me. I want to be excited.

I want loving every person in my life to surprise me. I want to love and be surprised in how I can think up every small way to show them. I want to reach the end of this life still gasping at all the ways loving you has bloomed all around me something like joy. Yes, you, dear reader. You. I want to stumble upon every stitched story we haven’t said, not in years or perhaps at all. Fireflies lighting the way. Tiny wings flying us all around each other, to and fro, swashbuckling on infinity, until my very last day.

fun little snap

Published by Robbie Williford

Writer from Flint, Michigan. Partial but slowly becoming. Educator. Storyteller. Bashful. Paying attention to the quiet.

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