Something is missing from a world like this. When a person sits across the table from you. Under the canvas umbrella. Afraid of sunburn. And tells you just how much he loved you. And says how angry he is that you didn't tell him about your suicide attempt. This person who says he's having a hard time without you never asks what it felt like when you bled all over the bedcovers or where you found the blade sharp enough. Never asks what you said to yourself over and over again to find the courage. Or to find none. When he asks you to imagine how difficult it is for a man like him to shop by himself. Without your input or encouragement.

And you know the way you are and what you did–do–(this isn't the first or the tenth time) is attributable to, answered away by illness and it might make you unlovable. And you're glad he doesn't say things like, What are we going to do with you? and You're not safe on your own.

So you don't mind it till later when you realize that he happened to mention during this same conversation that his friends and his mother are glad he's rid of you-a thing that could have gone without saying, certainly. And when you think how the person he describes as missing from his life is only part of you. And that possibly even that part is helped along by the illness. Kindness, solicitude, generosity. Maybe even owing to and because of it. It's possible.

And then you see how funny it is that he admitted to thinking about how you're winning in the contest (you didn't know you'd entered) for who is handling the split better. Funny in the extreme since many nights you sit in a cold tub of water with the buzzing hair dryer an inch from the surface. A note that misses the point but will do on the floor. Hesitating mostly for the reason that you can't think of anyone for sure who's died this way. Nor have you read anything about what state a person is left in when this method fails, or is accomplished only partially.

Something is missing. Wrong–a word you don't like. It is not the reason you feel as you do. But it is no argument against it.

 

- Heather DiLeo