Monday, July 14, 2014

The Better Man

Something about his shoulders strikes me as final, and I shamefully am unable to prevent a slippage of emotion from my canthi.

Maybe it’s because I have been so unused to his company that his departure now seems abrupt, even though there was nothing abrupt about it. (A fresh wound smarts so much the stronger.) I just know I worry myself sick thinking about him — if he's happy — if he’s finding his path, if I’m going to have him for years to come. (I think of my father crying as he watches his older brother fade into an adumbrated umbra; he is unable to follow, his big brother no longer there to protect him, to inspire him, to be proud of him.)

Maybe this imprint of a loss is what inspires this bleak fear.

Him walking away is like a chunk of bone and flesh being ripped out of my chest — I always fear this is the last time I’ll ever see him. (But this is silly, because I have always suspected that I would be — will be the first one to tap out.) So maybe the fear is selfish and projected and egocentric; I don’t know. But I realize that distance breeds a dimming of the fear — out of sight, out of mind, or so the saying goes, and so the distance seems selfish, even if it’s just a banal consequence of reality and divergent paths and individuality.

I want him to be as proud of me as I am of him: he has always been the better man, after all. I want him to know how much he inspires me — being unafraid to blaze his own trail.

I used to think I wanted him to follow in my footsteps, until I realized what a terrible and conceited conceit that nonsensical notion was.