YOUR LAST BREATH

A letter between old friends, on the anniversary of their parting.


To my old friend, Richard — breathe in and be well.


To my old friend Richard,

I find it strange to be writing this letter to you considering the fact that we are no more — meaning I am no longer a part of you and you no longer a part of I. Once, we were inseparable. What was that saying we always used to say? Breathe in and be well? That always worked so well for us. At least it seemed to. I swam in your lungs, joyfully jubilant, most times accelerated by another old friend of yours, of ours, his name was cannabis, and for a long time, a very long time, he swam alongside me every single day. Sometimes, more than once a day. Towards our end, it was certainly almost every hour.

But our time together — me, you, cannabis — it is now no more. Has it really been seven years since you finally exhaled me into the shrill of the night, vanquishing me for good as you had promised to do? I’ve got to be honest, old friend — I wasn’t really sure you would follow through on that; wasn’t sure you would live up to your promise; that you would hold your will; that I would finally be your last breath. You said you would gasp and let me go, that you would start a new, and I had heard that many, many times before. A lot of people who know you would probably say they had as well. For Gosh sakes, I mean, we were inseparable, you and I! If you had something to say, be it a lie or a truth, and most of the time, let’s be honest (see, I’m trying too!) it was a lie. But you were under the influence so it didn’t really matter. When you had settled on what it was you wanted to say, I was the one who literally gave breath to your words. But you actually did it. You had said it before, yes, I remember well, but you never pulled the trigger. Until that night. You gasped and let me go and haven’t spoken since.

For that, I miss you terribly.

Yes, I’ve found someone new, as most tend to do, there are, after all, plenty of fish in the sea, and that whole soul-mate, one-and-only philosophy, well it lost a bit of its weight after everything we went through. But I must admit that part of me sometimes, okay, most of the time, okay, all of the time (SEE I REALLY AM TRYING TO BE HONEST!) wonders how you’re doing. How is your breath of fresh air? Does it make you happy? Are things really better now that I’m not around? What did I ever do wrong? No, seriously — what the fuck did I ever do? We were so good together! We were amazing and you fucking threw it all way! You fucking —

— I’m sorry for cursing, Richard. I’ve really got to calm down. I tend to get a little worked up from time to time, especially when all of these thoughts of our past life together start to swirl around. But you know that, don’t you? Of course you do :) — I don’t know what I’m trying to insinuate with that line. Is it the fact that I believe you still remember? Yes, I believe you do. You must remember everything we did together. All of those late nights. Drunken joy rides. Bathroom stalls. Hotel showers. I know you remember. Perhaps that’s why we haven’t spoken since because the memories are too painful…

Or perhaps…

Oh, God, no…

Perhaps…

…perhaps it is because you actually do remember. You remember, in vivid detail, all of those…moments we…created…the dynamite of them…they are too powerful, and that was why you swore I’d be your last breath ever.

I’ve got to end this letter now, Richard. Whosever lungs I’m in right now — isn’t that sad I don’t even know who I belong to right now, only that I need to belong to someone’s lungs otherwise I’m literally a breath in the wind — I can feel they’re getting ready to say something. Maybe they need to score. And it’ll soon be time for me to go to work, so I’ll leave you with this:

If you ever want to be with me again, all you have to do is call. All you have to do is call and I’ll come. But sadly, I know that you won’t.

What was that we always used to say, Richard? Breathe in and be well.

Well, it seems like you have, for seven years now. And will for seven more.

So farewell, Richard — fare thee well and never forget to breathe.

Very sincerely,

Your Last Breath