...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

To you again

2006: the first, and one many pictures of us as a furball

Dearest Marcus,

I often imagine talking to you nowadays, trying to picture how it would be if you were with me and mom and dad in our activities. Sometimes I talk to myself out loud (when I'm alone), or in my head (when I'm with others); telling you what happened in the day, how I miss you and love you so much, how I wish some things turned out differently, and how I wish you were with me now. I meow to you and laugh (internally) at our inside jokes – but always feel loss at the same time. It's just not the same without the real you.

I've also gone back to sobbing out loud, sometimes in the morning, and sometimes at night, or sometimes before I take an afternoon nap, which we used to take together, cuddled up like a furball: us the two cats with no worries in the whole wide world. We would often tell each other how nice it felt to be able to feel so comfortable and worry-free with another person. Cuddled up with you, I felt instantly relaxed. It was truly a wonderful feeling. I sometimes try to recreate it in my thoughts, in order to get myself to sleep. But it’s not the same without your skin, your smell and your breath. In that way, it’s quite sad too, to recall beautiful feelings.

Anyway, mom and dad and I have been through many nice activities, partly to things we had visited together before, but also new things and places (like mushroom picking, and Copenhagen), and events like Kulturnatten and the Film Festival. It's fun but also quite tiring; I haven't had the luxury of the ”ordinary weekend” of doing nothing – taking things slow, hanging out in the living room, napping, and just enjoying each other's company in doing small things. Besides, an uneventful weekend wouldn't be the same alone. Even food experiments are put on hold a while. In contrast, my days these past weeks are pretty much filled with activity. They are all nice, and I think mom and dad are enjoying much too. But of course things would have been much nicer if you were with us, or if I could at least relax with you at the end of the day as I used to, and have you to talk with about the day's events. You were a great listener, but you often also came up with an insight, a funny rant, a joke, or just something to say. We talked about all sorts of things. Now my evenings are too quiet. So that's why I pretend to talk to you sometimes.

Today, I watched some shows from our hard drive with mom and dad. There was a series called Alan Whicker’s Journey of a Lifetime. You would have liked it, I think. The host, Whicker, is something like an eccentric but polite old gentleman going around the world interviewing people he had previously met while making another show for the BBC. In the last episode, he revisited a couple who had been living alone self-sufficiently in an island between Australia and Tasmania for the past (at the time) 36 years. The woman said that it was the greatest fallacy to think that you ran out of things to talk with your partner after 36 years alone together. The wonderful thing for her was that they could always turn a new stone. Talking about their relationship, she thought that it was pretty nice to hear the plane sputtering each time they rode one. The thought of she and her husband dying together was comforting, so “at least he wouldn't have to worry about how to run the toaster” – but also because they wouldn't have to worry about what to do when they lose the other. The couple was old at the time of the interview. At the end of the segment, Whicker disclosed that some years later, the woman suffered from dementia, and she was cared for by her husband until her death. After her passing, the husband decided to leave their island paradise to move to a care home in the mainland where he also later died.

They reminded me of you and me. We often said that there would be no other thinkable person to live with in a desert island than each other, partly because we worked really well together in a practical sense, but also because we found each other stimulating and inspiring year in and year out. And in our fantasies, as in that woman's, we also thought that it would be a comfort if we could, through some accident, die together. But like that couple too, it really seems to be the case that someone has to die first. At least, that's what mostly happens.

I felt really sad for the old couple. I really sympathized with them, and not just because I saw myself in them. When things happen the way they do, it’s quite regrettable sometimes why things just can't happen according to one's fantasy.

Thinking about the inevitability of the end of the universe, of entropy and the finitude of all conceivable things, I really do wonder sometimes, “What’s the point?”

The point was you. I can say so much, even without having lived so long. It sounds a little self-effacing to say so, but it’s not my intention to be self-effacing. What I mean is, that there are few chances in the world where you can meet a person outside of you that you really truly can live with and understand, and feel comfortable with to a degree that you and I, and probably that couple, had. I feel this to be true, and I almost know it too, because a lot of people don't even get to live with that kind of person, and in fact never find this person at all. Just that one opportunity to find someone to love this way is strong enough to leave an impression for a lifetime. It's enough to have given meaning to my whole universe, so to speak. Everything else in the future, when you've lost half of yourself, just seems too trivial in comparison, even though they might also be good and nice experiences, and I can look forward to them too in a way. That's how important you are to me. What I would give to have you back, knowing that even this is an absurd thought.

I wonder how that man had felt, as he left his wife's remains in the island that they loved. And I wonder what it must have felt, waiting for the ultimate decline after having already suffered a loss so great that really, dying tomorrow wouldn't much matter. I almost hope, for his sake, that he didn't have to wait so long. It's obvious that they must also have loved each other very much.

This week's fortune-cookie-wisdom, in the form of my calendar's quote for the week goes: “When I hear people groan that that life is hard, I ask them ‘compared to what?’” The answer is not necessarily death (the state of non-being is neither easy nor hard). But life can indeed seem very hard compared to fantasy – what life could have been, and what you would have wished it could be but hadn't, and wouldn't come to be. I hadn't died with you, and now I even have to live without you. In that way, life is hard. It is also hard, in the sense that it is heartless.

I think about you always. I miss you and love you so much.

Your Joy

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