I Would Be Willing to Believe in Heaven – James Franklin Pyles

This is one of those days, where if you were still alive, I would be selfish because I have been having one of those days weeks. The truth of you, is that you would have allowed that. You would let me highjack your birthday because of my saddness. That might even be a treat for you actually. You found a beautiful kind of joy in being able to support me when I was vulnerable. I experienced that too. For a man that was so ….one way in public….with a personality so divisive, so abrupt, so strong and so seemingly impenetrable…you were though. You were penetrable. Your hands were soft and I knew your secrets. I knew that you were just as vulnerable as me.

Be that as it may, you would let me have your birthday. You would think it a gift to comfort me. Or to comfort Lola. She’s having one of those weeks too. Your friends are in need. I am in need. And I have been reading too much Anita Shreve. And I have been reading my stories of you too much.

Too much that it makes me ache for you and want you. Too much that I still compare everyone else to you. I won’t call this regression.

There’s a quote that I resonate with. “I have always been faithful to you if faithful means the experience against which everything else has been measured.” Its from the book The Last Time They Met.

There’s also, “The enduring struggle to capture in words the infinite possibilities of a life not lived.” And from Fortune’s Rock, there is,It is time that determines the intensity of love.” 

I try to imagine how we would have celebrated your birthdays each year. You, a man who thought we held too many possessions. Would we travel to celebrate? Would we find a secluded park late at night, lay down and face the moon, counting and naming the shapes in the stars. You know what I’d do. I’d write you a love letter. I’d do it every day actually. All these years later, I would have written you love letters every day and kept them bound in journals and on your birthday you’d get the collection each year. That’s something you would have loved.

Its something I can no longer do. For my love for you is only held in memories and hopes. And there is a limit to both.

Today, I wrote Lola. Among other thing what was written was,

sometimes it does seem unreal
or i think maybe i’m sleeping and dreaming and i’ll wake up in fisher dorm again
i really hope there are alternate universes and in all the other ones, he’s alive
or i’d be willing to believe in heaven if it meant he was there. but only if.
or its unreal how profound he is in my life and its all these years later
we were babies. he was only 18, 19.
like younger than bianca actually

and in my head he’s this wise man and he was just a baby

Happy 31st Birthday, my beloved.

“Sometimes I think that if it were possible to tell a story often enough to make the hurt ease up, to make the words slide down my arms and away from me like water, I would tell that story a thousand times.” ~ Anita Shreve

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