My Dear Joseph,
How can I say goodbye to you?
My heart is broken. Memories of you flood my mind, disjointed and soaring, like loose pages caught in the wind.
We have been friends for so long. We started out as family, brought together by someone else’s union. That was not to last but their dissolution could not break our bond. I remember high school sock hops and driving around half the night in that old B210.
Working together at Ted’s Catfish Inn, we cooked, washed dishes, and smoked out back. I wonder if our names are still carved in that wall.
You took me to Junior Prom. White tux with tails…oh yea, 1981!
Mother told me you cried at my first wedding. You told her he wasn’t good enough for me. You were right.
We picnicked at the lake. So many lakes and so many picnics.
Our special place, the camp on Lake Bistineau, was my favorite. I still have pictures of you dancing around the burning remains of my marriage license after my first divorce. We celebrated for a week.
Don’t make me say goodbye to you.
You took me to sketchy bars when I was 16 so we could dance, dance, dance. Being with you gave me confidence.
I loved our times at the farm. Such wonderful weekends of cooking great food and watching movies. The fireworks brushfire was fun. Pouring drinks, smoking pot, dreaming up plots; wonderful lost weekends.
We talked of traveling when we were kids. Later I lived vicariously through you. You did the traveling. We made up stories for fun. I ended up the writer.
You were there for me that awful week that Daddy died, pulling me away from the funeral home and driving the backroads, like when we were kids. You were there when I buried Mom, such a dark day.
You were supposed to tutor me in math but we never studied. That was our movie day. We saw Gone with the Wind on the big screen, so much fun after a bottle of Asti. You were the only person who could get me to see horror. We giggled all the way through one of the Omen movies.
I remember people watching with you and making up stories about the people we saw. I still do that, only now I sometimes put the people in my books.
Why would I say goodbye to you? I have loved you my whole life. Even those times when we lived our lives and didn’t connect for months or even years, you were still My Dear Joseph. You were the first person outside my family who told me I was beautiful. You were the first guy to buy me jewelry.
We were supposed to grow old together and have lots of nieces and nephews and grandpuppies. We were supposed to drive our spouses to distraction with our stories and our love affair of the heart.
I will not say goodbye to you. You are just on another of your wild and wonderful adventures. You can tell me all about it the next time we meet. Just know I love you