I keep remembering the last time I saw you. I was so nervous, but so content and serene. That trip – it was so spur of the moment. You were ecstatic! I was ecstatic! I was bouncing off the walls the moment I hit buy on that computer screen. Finally, after six months of texting, chatting, skyping,phoning and email we were finally going to be able to touch each other, hold each other, see each other, feel each other, kiss, make love, sleep beside each other and just be with each other. I didn’t let myself get excited until I crossed the border that day, and even then, I wouldn’t let myself get too excited – not until I got off the plane in San Diego. You sent me that text ‘where are you?!!’ but you didn’t know I was seated at the very very back of the plane. OH Dave. I walked out of the concourse and I was looking around for you. I was kind of let down that you weren’t right there waiting, but I kept walking. And then I saw you. You were waiting at my baggage claim area. Smart. But you didn’t see me. I kind of stayed behind the crowd and kept you in sight and then I grabbed you from behind and swung in front of you. I’ll never forget your face. It makes my eyes water now. Your eyes were so wide and the smile – I’d never really seen you smile like that. You looked so different. You stood taller. But you looked so much the same. You had that same hoodie on. And you were still super nervous. But you held my face in your hands and kept kissing me. I felt like everyone was watching us. But we kept kissing. You kept saying “You’re here, you’re here. I can’t believe you flew 3000 miles for me.” I let you hold me from behind as we waited for my luggage. I let my head fall on your shoulder and rest against your neck and chin. “Home. Home,” that’s all I could feel. My luggage showed up and you took it (we had the same suitcases) and we walked outside to find the shuttle to the rent-a-car place and you kept holding my hand. Your grip was so positive. It was so certain and sure. You can’t imagine how happy it made me feel after six months of finding myself and six months of you doing the same. It’s funny that what we found was we were still in love even after we both changed so much. We hopped on the shuttle and got the bright yellow car. You drove it out of the lot and we had no real clue where we were going. Thank God for the maps. But we decided to go to the beach. We’ll get a hotel room later. I keep thinking how much you wanted to hold my hand. I was in my head thinking how awesome it was. You made me so happy. You showed me your world. I can’t remember when we got to the hotel if we ate first, but I remember that you sat beside me rather than across from me. You were like, “fuck that!” ’cause you hadn’t got to feel my closeness for so long. I know why we went so long, Dave. I know. But lately I kick myself a lot for leaving to New Zealand and leaving San Diego. I should’ve just said screw Burnaby. I should’ve just stayed with you. But I was too responsible. I was too grown up. Besides, I thought we had all the time in the world. But we had a great time that day. An amazing time, and we made it back to the beach to watch the sunset. Those are those photos. From that first day. May 11th. One of the happiest days of my life. I remember I was so tired. You asked what I wanted to do and while I wanted to sleep, I thought, lets do something normal-like and watch some tv and cuddle in bed. You loved it. You said I always have great ideas. And we cuddled in bed and watched tv and I fell asleep in your arms. I knew that night I was in love with you. I think you knew too.
The next day I don’t recall too much of the morning. Were we naked for most of it? Who knows. But I do recall we went to the DZ. I do recall we went to La Jolla and you showed me the seals. We drove down the streets near the oceanside and I got to see some of Cali. We went back to the beach and we rode that roller coaster. But then we were at a loss of what to do and I remember. I said we should get some beer and go drink at the pool at our hotel. Again you said I had the greatest ideas. We sat at the poolside and talked for hours in the sun drinking our crappy American beer like foreign tourists. It was awesome. We talked until the sun went down. We hardly wasted a single moment and spent plenty of intimate time with each other. I miss that a lot. I miss it more than I can ever tell anyone. That big king-size bed … sigh.
We woke up in the morning and packed up our stuff and headed out to the dropzone. You couldn’t keep your hands off me. You were making sure everyone knew I was yours. Remember the guy who was astonished that Canadian Dave was with a girl… heehe. That was funny. He so thought you were gay all those months. It made me smile. You really did love me. You introduced me to only a few people. We decided to head to Perris and Elsinore so I could see them. I wanted to know what you were up to all winter. I wanted to be able to put places to all the things you told me about. You kept holding my hand. You kept having me sit between your legs as you sat on the picnic table top. I loved every second of it. We didn’t jump though. We thought we had all the time in the world.
I need to stop this here. Our last night. Our last day. Those last 24-hours together. Those are why I cry. Those are why I hurt. Those are a lot of the reasons why I am in agony and angry at the world and existence for taking you away so soon. It’s not fair. Hell, that whole trip is a lot of reasons why I’m mad at the world. The last 11 months are the reason. It’s all reasons. I might even say the last 34 years of my life are the reason. I don’t know by what design I have to live and you had to die. I don’t get any of it. Some days are like a dream. Some days are brutal and I cower at life. There’s forces out there that can rock your world and fuck all your shit up in an instant. You used to call that force Sheri. All I can call it now is love.