Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dear Asa (Part Two)

Dear Asa,

It's been a week now. I miss you so much I can't breathe. I thought maybe if I wrote to you, it would soften the sharper edges of what I'm feeling. Anyway, I wanted to catch you up on what's been happening.

First off, I wanted you to know I'm wearing your ring as well as my own. Also some of your shirts. And hats.

Montag misses you something fierce. I thought he'd settled into sleeping on your side of the bed, but that's changed. Now he sleeps on the couch next to the door. He's waiting for you still. He doesn't talk as much as he used to. I just don't know how to help him. Might be time to find some fresh catnip. Don't really know how Carmen feels about all this - she likes sleeping in the bedroom now, I know that much. I don't mind as much as I did at first - her snoring is like white noise. When I leave for any length of time now, they're both waiting for me at the door when I come home. That's going to take some getting used to.

Remember how I said I would change the shower curtain liner and you told me no, you'd take care of it? Back in November? And every time I said I was going to do it, you said not to, that you wanted to do it? I finally took care of it. Hope you don't mind.

I fixed the Kit Kat clock, too. I remember your smile when we found it at the Old Town Card Shop - we had our choice of colors but you said nothing was so quintessentially New Mexican as the turquoise.

Young Maria stopped by - I don't think she expected me to be here - she brought a lovely card and a huge bouquet of gorgeous flowers. We hugged and cried and I told her I would call her next week to arrange a time for her to come pick up all the tools you wanted her to have.
All of our neighbors have expressed condolences - it's been strange and sweet - you knew them all so much better than I.

Demolition started last week on the Large Indie Bookstore building. The place where you and I met all those long years ago. Where we made our first connections to our tribe. The timing seems . . . interesting. 

Speaking of our tribe - they're taking very good care of me. They chauffeured me to the funeral home twice and let me cry all over them, more times than I can count. 

I called your regular doc and told her about your passing. That was harder than I thought it would be, as she took it harder than I thought she would.  I think I made all the calls I'm supposed to. I still feel like I've missed something.

I started boxing up your clothes, but it's taking me a long time. I have to stop a lot. I get so cold and start shaking. Can't help it. This didn't happen when I boxed up your books. And in so many ways, your books were more personal than your clothes. But then, they didn't smell of you. 

The hardest thing I've had to do so far I did today. I went to Hurricane's for breakfast, just like we used to do. They have new menus - they look really spiffy. Then I went book shopping, just like we used to do. I could not have gotten through today without the love and help and support of our amazing tribe. I feel almost strong enough for the Next Big Thing - going back to work.

I made a commitment to re-open the bookshop on Tuesday. It struck me, violently, the other night, that I would not be able to do it alone. Emotionally. Physically, too. So I reached out to our daughter and she'll be here tomorrow night. To help with everything that needs doing. Donating your clothes. Cleaning and prepping the store. Running the place. She's an organizer and a powerhouse. If anyone can get me past this first week and all the Giant Wet Feels that will come with it, it's her.  

Tomorrow I'm getting my hair cut off. I told you I would, and you were very supportive of all my reasons. The tribe is enabling me in this as well. I told you they're taking wonderful care of me, but more importantly they leave me alone when I need that, too. People have been asking about a memorial service. I did NOT tell them what you said to say. I've paraphrased. A lot. I just tell them that you requested no formal service, and that folks should just remember you in their own private and personal way. I can sense your eyeroll across the void. 

I'm going to be all right. It's going to take a very long time, but I'm going to be all right. We never lied to each other, and we never broke our promises. That will never change. 

This did help, writing to you like this. I'll write again soon.

Love always,