Friday, September 26, 2008

Things I Miss

It’s been a bit over two weeks since my dear Reginald passed. It hasn’t fully sunk in, I don’t think. I know he’s gone, but I find myself several times a day thinking things like, “I’ve got to tell Reginald about that…” At the same time, I miss him profoundly.

Most of all I miss our love. I miss how much he loved me and while I’ll always love him, I’ll miss being able to say it and show it to him. I’ll always treasure the time we had, or for that matter that the last thing I said to him was “I love you” and that the last thing he said was “I love you” to me – but that’s not enough, and I don’t think it ever will be.

One form our love and communion took was conversation, and on a daily level, I’ll miss that about as much as anything. We were nearly continuously together every day, and that because we wanted to be, and we talked all the time about nearly everything.

We talked about writing – about different literary forms, about the skills and experience of writing poetry, ethnography, fiction, essays, blogs, and other forms, about different forms as art or not art, about the relation between writing and society. We discussed music, something we’re both passionate about – from Britten to boy bands, the state of the music industry and music recording, why some people still seem to viscerally react to Schoenberg, what we liked or disliked about various music. We talked about politics and paleontology, generally agreeing that politics was probably more important but paleontology more interesting, finding debates about punctuated equilibrium or whether sauropods were likely endotherms, ectotherms, or homeotherms more interesting than Obama vs. McCain. We discussed race and racism, food in its many varieties and proper cooking of each, The Simpsons, the relative merits of science fiction television shows, whatever either of us was reading (which gave plenty of topics to explore), culture and history.

Not only did we share wide ranging interests, but he was always smart and knowledgeable about whatever we discussed. (Reginald’s knowledge of world history was particularly formidable. I’ve never encountered directly or indirectly anyone else as knowledgeable about history in general – and I include the writers of world histories. His many world history books are filled with marginal notes correcting the small errors of detail he found.) I don’t think I’ll ever have another conversation as interesting, challenging, or deep as the one we had the last 8 ½ years.

Our conversation, as with that of most couples I presume, was also larded with references that only made sense to the two of us. I miss already being able to say things like “No zombie turkey” or “It’s not yummy” or “Nothing Cake” or “Are you going to the thing?” and make any sense to someone, at least not without such convoluted explanation as to obviate their use as a shorthand – and a shorthand for a range of past shared experience that wouldn’t be explained anyway even with the most elaborate of explanations.

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