It's pretty out. Nice sunset. 70 degrees yesterday, snow and 32 today. Both our beehives died, I discovered yesterday. It upset me more deeply than you'd think. Without you here. The bees all frozen in place, like a photograph of a perfectly normal day in the world of bees, the cluster spread out, each bee doing their job, their wings still outstretched, still fuzzy, still perfect. They were alive a few weeks ago. Now they are not. Alive, and then dead. Like you.
Boris and I walked. We took the switchback path up the hill where you used to run, straight up, bisecting the pavement. You were a wonder to watch, my love, strong and powerful. I should be still running my old route through our neighborhood, becoming a runner, day by day. Disappointed and bummed out that you are faster and stronger with absolutely no effort at all. You should be coaching me on my push-up style, while hanging, one-armed, from the chin up bar. I should be spurred on by your crazy metabolism and natural form. I should still get to watch you move.
It is Saturday. Your friends are probably playing poker. You should be there, feeding them your secret recipe ribs. The same ribs I fed them at your memorial, where your friends did not mingle with our family, where weird Joan let her weird son ramble on and on through the microphone about freak storms and tsunamis, how hot he thinks his mother is, and how you shouldn't ever let anyone drown. He kept on until I realized no one was going to stop him for me, so I had Dean pull the plug on the power strip, and weird son rambled on into relative silence as your father walked away. Later, I did cartwheels alone in the rain, while everyone huddled inside the barn, listening to Bob Dylan, ignoring the same weird son and his rant about rainbows.
I looked it up because I had lost count: 88 weeks ago tonight, you were playing poker, calling me from the road on the way home to see if I am still awake, telling me about the hands you won, and how you split the pot. I had been running every day for 22 days, and you'd told me you were proud of me. In the words of a movie that tender widows should not see, "the night would have been ordinary, even commonplace, if not for the morning that it preceded."
I started running again yesterday, starting from zero, at the couch end of couch-to-5k. It was nice. I was proud of myself. I did not end with stretches and push-ups in the living room as I used to, with you being quietly proud of me for being so proud of myself. I'm no longer training to keep up with you on the trail, to be stronger and faster and more fit to keep up with our life, to extend our hikes and make for crazier climbs. Not training to look better, as I was before, though you always told me you thought I was beautiful.
Now it is just me, staring up at the sky, asking if you saw me running, if you know that I am trying, that I am taking care of this meat suit I still live inside. Trying to not make this worse by letting this physical form go soft and unyielding and stiff. I am trying my love. With our bees, and our dog, and our switchback paths, I am trying. I wish you were here with me, living our ordinary life.