In October the peaches, even the pretty ones, are mealy and soft and more like a memory of what summer tasted like. They are a reminder that even the best of things will not last, that every season has an ebb and flow, and when one thing goes another comes to take its place.
What can I tell you about October? That it will forever be split in two; of the time you were not here and the time you were here. That October has always been one of my favorite words. That I say this every year. I could tell you there was a thunderstorm and the power went out and we all gathered close in the bedroom. I could tell you that, unrelated but on the same day, there was an oil spill up the coast and they closed the inky beaches, and it feels like the early days of the pandemic when everything was quiet and empty and sad. I could tell you that every day you got lower and I got bigger and that every day I told you, soon we will meet.
Your father takes a picture of me near the window but you cannot see my face. I work on writing. I wait for appointments. I worry about whether or not either of us are going to be okay. When my friends ask I have the same response, I cannot wrap my mind around what is about to happen. The life of it I can understand. The act of it I cannot. I try and grasp for the most mind bending experiences I have ever had: a long drug trip in an apartment in Boise with a golden painted ceiling, where I came out the other side a new person, unable to tell anyone else how I got there. No, that will be a footnote compared to this.
Where do we go when are forced to wander outside the edges of our own reality? Past the places where we are a person we recognize? And how do we come back?
I get four rolls of film developed, all of which are pictures of me and you growing in different places: out in the desert of Moab or the rivers of Idaho, in our apartment or on the beach. A little collection, an experiment on how to make a life out of a life. I do not know what to do with them. I hang one on the fridge, I put another inside my favorite book, I keep one for you.
There is something about fall that feels right for all of this. In the turn over of everything being put to bed for the season. I try to get closer with words. It has something to do with the peaches and the rain and the oil slick, how we say grace even on the bad days. Sometimes I sit by the window and wait to see oil on the waters out front but then pray I never do. Sometimes I think it’s your time to come. Sometimes I just want another day where all I do is write and make lunch and ask your dad if we can go lie by the water.
I can feel your feet pressed against the inside of my ribs. You are real and yet you are not. Between two worlds. We are the same in this.