It's been a year since my friend Carlos died. A long year, gone by in a heartbeat. This evening I visited with friends to look at photos of Carlos and share countless amusing anecdotes. Carlos' gardening was mentioned, and it wouldn't have been right not to discuss his creative and wonderful sense of style. The funny stories were laughed over- tales from Carlos' drinking days and his way with the ladies. But the stories pertaining to Carlos' big heart were the ones that made my own heart ache. He touched all of us in so many ways, and gave himself wholeheartedly. I thought about how he babysat my daughter (although I never quite knew the shape my kid would be returned besides absolutely covered in grime), offered me ridiculous jobs when I needed money, and even, on three separate occasions when I was absolutely down on my luck, tried to get me to either live with him or in an apartment next door. Selfishly, I miss my friend because it's really tough 'going it alone'. I'm a single mama- sometimes, if only for a moment, it's nice to feel taken care of. It's a rare feeling, but one that Carlos imparted with regularity.
I try my best to be little miss happy f-in' sunshine, but tonight, I feel an unusual sort of quiet, weighted sadness. Walking home after leaving my friends, I thought of a few lines from a Coleridge poem:
A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,
A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief,
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
In word, or sigh, or tear -
(After the jump, the entire poem. It's lovely, absolutely, although utterly melancholic.)
I still love my friend very much. Thanks, Carlos, for having been there.
I am Melissa Banigan. I've been many things under the sun, but am currently a single mom raising an amazing kid in Brooklyn, writing novels and short stories, and working on some art (canvases and paper). I also, under the moniker melifera, produce off-the-cusp embroidered clothing and bags.