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Letter to Matthew

August 19, 2012


            Dear Matthew,

            The first time we made love, John Mayer sang to us in the background with sexy, bluesy sounds. I was nervous—nervous to start this all over again with another man, nervous about falling in love with you and hoping you’d love me just as much, nervous to touch and be touched by you, because you seemed so fragile fresh out of the hospital.

            You seemed to sense my nervousness as you kissed me gently and whispered, “You look so beautiful from this angle. I think I might be falling in love with you.” And you kissed me, and you touched me, and you held me in your strong arms all through the night, and I was so safe there with you.

            When you finally climaxed, you were awe-struck, and I giggled, saying, “Surely you weren’t a virgin before this.”

            “No,” you said, “but I’ve never been able to do that before.” You had tears of wonder at the edges of your eyes.

            “What do you mean,” I asked you.

            “I’ve never been able to orgasm during sex before. That was amazing. There’s something different about you, Precious.”

            I held your face in my hands and kissed you. I laid my head upon your chest and listened to your heartbeat as you ran your fingers through my hair. Your hands were so much bigger than mine, and you called me your “tiny Precious.”

            John Mayer sang, “…my dear, we’re slow dancing in a burning room….” as we talked and cuddled, and I had no idea of how true that was. We danced everywhere, because you loved the movement so much. The next morning, you would even lead me from the bed into the shower in a blues dancer’s close embrace, and it was a slow, gentle dance. But the room was slowly burning, and I guess the dance wasn’t meant to last as long as we’d hoped.

          That night, when we finally turned off the music and the lights, and I fell asleep in your arms, it was the safest I’d ever felt. I dream of being there again, here in this room in your arms, but it’s not the same. I wake up cold and shuddering, and sometimes I even wake up sobbing, because you’re no longer here to hold me and tell me you love me.

          I’m lost these days. It’s been six whole weeks, and I’m so very lost without you. I’m cold all the time, even on hot days, and the simple act of waking up and getting out of bed is the hardest it’s ever been. I can’t bring myself to throw away your toothbrush or your deodorant, though I know it’s silly to keep things like that. And your hot pink loofa that you left in my shower makes me smile sad smiles, but I never actually use the thing.

          I wish with all my heart that you were still here. If I could just hold your hand again, if I could just kiss you and tell you how much I love you and how much you meant to me one last time…. God help me, Precious, I miss you so much.

          Why did you have to leave me so soon? Why did you have to go the way you did? If you’d died in a car accident, I’d have some dumb driver to be mad at. If you’d been hit by a bullet or stabbed with a knife, we’d have a criminal to find and bring to justice.

            But it was your addiction that got the best of you, and you left all of us with this odd sense of survivor’s guilt. And we’ve all asked ourselves a thousand times, “Was there something I could have done to save his life?” But, no, there wasn’t. That room was on fire, and you were dancing right there in the middle, and there was nothing we could do to save you.

            Tonight when I fall asleep, I know I’ll go back to that place where I’m perfectly entangled in your arms, because that’s where I go every night. And it will be a brief and beautiful reprieve from this grief you’ve left me with, and I will wake up tomorrow still missing you.

            I love you, my silly Precious, and that’s something that will never change. And though it wasn’t meant to be in this lifetime, maybe we’ll meet again in the next one, and we’ll fall in love all over again and have a second chance at living the lives we should have had. It will be perfect, and there will be no looming addiction waiting to take you away from me. We’ll grow old and gray together while we watch our grandchildren play, and you’ll tell me once again that you love me the way I love you.


            With all my love,

                        Your Tiny Precious



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