Dear Feather

Today, I saw a picture of you that I haven’t seen for years. Interesting how something can immediately pierce your emotional armor and leave you a blubbering mess, sitting alone at work while people look on and wonder, “What the fuck is wrong with him?” I miss you so incredibly.

I think about the last conversation that we had. The words spoken will only be between us for as long as I live, and that’s fine. The way you looked at me when we would sit on your couch and just talk. The way your hair smelled. I can be sure of at least one other person feeling this way, but somehow, maybe because the feelings are so intimate to me, they feel unique and special. I knew this gem of a woman for a limited time, and that makes that time so precious to me.

Not that I appreciated it at the time. I was no catch of a boyfriend. But, I loved her with no less reach of love than I do my wife and indeed I would have married her given the opportunity.

I’m sorry that I didn’t return your phone calls, when you told friends of mine that you needed me. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be near you. That I wasn’t there when you needed me has done more damage than anything else in my life. If you could only know the damage I have caused myself because of my youthful ignorance, maybe you would be able to find it in your heart to forgive me. But, I never can. And I never will. It seems only fitting that I should be hurt whenever I see your face in a picture, or in the face of someone I work with.

If there is an afterlife, I look forward to seeing you again.

If I could have taken your cancer into myself to let you live, I would have done it cheerfully. I still love you, I will always love you. Michelle, I now understand what you meant when you said, “She’s your Joe.” It is an understanding I could have gone forever without knowing.

I love you.

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