We spent an afternoon last week having one of those long, meandering, utterly heartbreaking conversations that seem to never want to end. We perched for hours on a bench overlooking the Salish Sea, our words laced through with rage and loss, resentment bubbling up before receding back into tears. I tried to explain, as we sat there in the salty ocean wind, how I had imagined breathing this air with him, here on the edge of things, thousands of miles away from the concrete and noise of New York City. And I tried to hear all the ways in which I have let him down, all the ways in which we have failed each other. He, ever the optimist, said there is plenty of air to go around, even in those moments when it feels like we just can't breathe.
Eventually, though of course not really, there was even a quiet peace, perhaps born more out of emotional exhaustion than any real denouement.
The sun had long since passed its zenith by then, glaring down on us from the
western sky, dulling the chill of an early-April breeze. And the following morning, an angry red sunburn encircling my neck -- but for a glaring white stripe
where my necklace had been.