To Whom It May Concern:
To Whom it May Concern is for me.
When I think about Death, it's usually as an abstract. Death is The End, the Inevitable, the Great Unknown. I don’t think about my own death often, these days. I was thinking about it today, though, while I was walking the dog.
I’ve been extremely fortunate. I’m 35, and although I have known people who have died, some of them family, they’ve been people on the periphery of my life. Some were people I knew, some I loved, but I hadn’t seen them in years, or our time together was brief. The people closest to my heart, my main arteries, are all intact.
But its only a matter of time. It is Inevitable.
There are things we can’t ask the living. There are some living who can’t talk right now, for whatever reason, but they might wake up one day with a question for me that I won’t be around to answer.
It might be nice, I imagine, for this hypothetical person to have a reference, like an FAQ page, but for questions that were never asked.
But this isn’t for them.
This space will be a work of fiction, with a lot of reality inside. What’s true and what’s not, which conversations actually happened, which I only wish had happened, and which are completely made up and feature fictitious people, is for me to know. If you're curious, you can ask me what is what. I’ll either lie to you or tell you the truth, and then you’ll be right back where you started.
But maybe you’ll wish we had had that conversation. Maybe you wish somebody felt that way about you. Maybe you’ll feel seen. And I’ll be happy for you, if you get anything positive out of my words.
But it is not for you.
All names have been changed to protect the innocent. At times, the pronoun ‘I’ will be used to refer to me, the author, but ‘I’ might be speaking as another character who may be a real or fictional person or animal. Sometimes, I might write about, say, a dog, but the dog isn’t always a dog. Sometimes dog means gun. But sometimes it does mean dog. Take it how you want it.
There’s a moment in time I go back to often, because it is definitely one of if not THE happiest moment in my life.
I’d just woken up and you were sleeping next to me. We were facing each other and I was practically holding my breath, afraid even that would wake you. You brought your hand up and grabbed the tip of my nose. Your hands were so small. You were so small. I realized I was a giant, and you were a tiny, magical creature. It was my job to protect you, to help you grow your wings.
I like to read about physics. I don’t understand a lot of it, honestly, but I can read the same book by the same astrophysicist a dozen times and always come away with a new idea, a changed perspective. Essays on the arrow of time are like my Agnostic's Parables, I guess. One of these ideas that gives me comfort, (even if I’ve totally slaughtered the concept in my understanding,) is that all points of time, ALL of them, exist simultaneously and infinitely. In my understanding, that means somewhere, right now and forever, you’re sleeping in the tiniest footie pajamas with your fingers wrapped around my nose and I love you so, so much.
I dream a lot and it’s not unusual for random people to stroll onto the set of my Dreamworks and say “hey.” It is unusual when the same estranged cousin comes barging in every night for two weeks, though. I thought I’d use this space to explore that a little.
I worry about their safety, of course. They get themselves into some pretty unhealthy situations, but I wasn’t losing sleep over them. It’s in sleep that my mind finds my cousin, though.
I wish them better days.
To Whom It May Concern:
We have not talked in a very long time, longer than I ever imagined not talking to you. I still wonder how you’re doing sometimes, but I’ve decided not to pry. If you wanted to let me know, you would. I hope you’re well, though.
I can’t even remember why we stopped talking. I know the headspace I was in at the time, so it makes sense, but I can’t remember the single incidence, the last time we spoke.
I didn’t know what was happening to me at the time, but now that I have some distance from then, I’ve lightened up on myself for a lot of the mistakes I made. I had some dark sadness packed away, and suddenly so many lights went out.
I think that’s why I kept writing, once I started. I had all these pieces of shattered illusions of who I was, who everyone else was in relation to me, and seeing my whole life through several new lenses. I was trying to make something out of the pieces of everything that came before. It was weird, and I'm still tweaking it, but I think something's coming together.
I’m doing really, really well. I’m still learning. Most days I feel like I’ve mastered it, living in the moment. I don’t take things for granted like I used to. I appreciate things for how they are, imperfect perfection.
I’d rather be cast aside than hold anyone back. And if someone can’t come with me on my journey, (hell, I know I go to some dumb places,) maybe we’ll meet somewhere down the road.
But, if we don’t, just know that, in my way, I love you and wish you all the best.
But, if we do meet up, Dude, I have so much to tell you!
I'm sorry if I scared you; I know I don't usually tell jokes. I think that you thought I wasn't me, that I was somebody else impersonating me. I really was me. I was just feeling more like myself than I usually do, and that came off as weird. I miss the old you. I hope you get better, but I'm afraid you won't. And I don't want to scare you.