the tangibles left behind

The morning after Love died, in my own fight to survive the greatest loss I have ever felt, I spoke to a counselor over the phone. One of the pieces of advice she gave was for me to put some things together that belonged to him, or reminded me of him, so that I could return to them and have a space to grieve (while I continued my “regular” life somehow). I remember my initial thought being, damn, she doesn’t get it. I don’t have any of his stuff.

Oh, but I did. I just didn’t think anything was significant. I might have been comparing what his family would have (everything) to what I felt like I had (nothing). One thing was major. One thing was minor. I didn’t know about one thing. And another three things I didn’t think of. So here they are:

I found the Trojan magnum in my bag. That gave me a great laugh. It is from Spring of 2015 — almost 2 years ago! I’ll keep it in the bag, for now.

Then, I remembered a few of Skyn condoms that were left overs from a couple of sessions toward the end of 2015 and maybe the Spring of this year. One is located in my dresser drawer where the tv is. The others are in my purse. I’ll probably put them all in the drawer.

Then it hit me that I had a business card that he given me in September, that was for his Chevy Cruze salesperson in St. Pete, Lou. It is located on the dresser on the right side of my bed. He gave it to me after I described multiple sexist experiences in trying to buy a car. He said Lou was great. I’ll keep it on the dresser, for now, though I don’t need Lou and wouldn’t buy a Chevy Cruze if it were the last car on any planet.

And…his swim trunks that he had bought to wear for my birthday at the beach. They are a small. I didn’t realize he was such a thin man. He had left them across the tub, where I put our used towels. It took me about 2 weeks to wash all of our sandy things. Then he died, and I wished that I had never washed them. So I folded them and put them in my closet in place that is visible, but not in my face. I think they are fine where they are. I touch them and hold them to my body every once in awhile, wishing for a scent.

And one more thing…he left oil spots in front of my house on the road where he always parked. He hit an armadillo one time and had a bad leak. I stood outside one night, got down to the ground, and rubbed the spots with my fingertips…I stare at the spots sometimes. They are probably there to stay. I often wonder if the neighbors are watching me as I do this, or as I stand outside sometimes and just stare. I wonder if they remember his car. I wonder if they wonder what happened to the White guy who would be at my house all of the time…the guy who I would stand outside with, while we gazed into each other’s eyes, while we hugged, while we kissed, while we said see you laters…I wonder what they wonder or if they wonder at all.

This is what I have.