The Window Closes

He moved out two years ago this month. After more chances than I can count, I gave up. He already had. I’d been slow to accept defeat but when I did, I prepared myself that things wouldn’t end well for him. When his sister called to tell me she’d found him it was some version of what I was expecting. What surprised me is the wave of terrible sadness I am flailing in. I thought he could no longer break my heart. I thought we were done.

Yesterday, his friend Ian and I went to his house to salvage what we could of music and his instruments – an effort to lessen the sense of waste and for me, to search for clues. I asked Ian if he ever spoke about me and was it with anger. He said, never anger – only regret.

We’d known each other a long time – had tried and failed at romance 20 years earlier so when we reconnected again, it was magical. His smile always made me weak in the knees – but there was more: his long, graceful limbs, beautiful face, that jawline. Even aging, his enviable head of hair turned perfect salt and pepper. And he was funny. So damn funny and a mischievous prankster. And so smart – patiently trying to explain string theory and black holes to me as my eyes glazed over. He understood and actually loved Charles Ives and Stravinsky – but most of all, Zappa who inspired his own complex, quirky music that he worked on constantly. He was a brilliant musician – as in everything, going for the difficult, mastering complicated drum riffs. When he moved in here, he built a studio in the basement and Molly and I always loved hearing him play the drums.

My friends became his friends, our home – his. He couldn’t believe his luck. But none of it was enough. A story I’d already lived through before. And again, I chose to save myself and Molly.

A few months after he’d moved out, he came over for a cup of coffee and asked me if maybe, maybe if  he could get healthy, maybe when he’s seventy — we could get back together. I told him yes, of course there’d be a chance –  he was a great love of my life. We both knew our story would not really end that way, but in a flash of fantasy, a window opened for a breath of hope.

Just last month, he turned 62. I’d watched his painful disappearing act over these last years and thought I had already braced myself – but his final exit – breaks my heart. Goodbye my sweet love.

20 thoughts on “The Window Closes”

  1. Thank you, Tricia, for your willingness to share your sadness and defeat as well as your joy and celebrations. So deeply and ineffably human. Your writing is beautiful.

  2. Oh my goodness Tricia. You have learned so much from loss, haven’t you. My wish is you learn as much or more from love in the coming seasons ahead… sending huge hugs to you my friend.

  3. Oh Tricia, this breaks my heart for you. I am so sad that you had to go through this even once, and now, twice. I don’t know what else to say, except I wish you some sense of knowing-in your bones-that you did all you could to love Rob. He just couldn’t go on. There are too many people in this world who leave too early. Love you…

  4. Thanks for sharing such a real and beautiful piece of your life. You are a strong woman of substance.

  5. Dear Tricia, I’m sending love and affection. Really feeling like I’ve lost a goofy, funny brother, and you and Molly so so much more. I’m wearing a clothespin around in honor of Rob the prankster. My one comforting image is of Rob, if there is a heaven, meeting up with my dad, and seeing both of their faces simply light up.

  6. Sad, sad. When I knew Rob 35 years ago, he was so luminous and mysterious. Thanks for sharing, Tricia. So very sorry for you and Rob and all of us who knew him.

  7. Oh Tricia……I am stunned and so sad for you. I will call…..Sending you so much love, XO

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