Our basement leaked in the last rain. I hadn’t noticed until today, when I started moving things around for a party we’re having. Of all the things that could have been damaged, all of the silly, frivolous things that could be easily parted with, the one thing that took damage was a box.
At first glance, I thought it might hold fabric, that I could throw into the wash or the trash, depending on the condition. But no. Out of everything it could be, it was a little box of things, belonging to my darling Steffan. He was my housemate, the little brother I’d never had, the girlfriend that stole my clothes, my sweet, fragile gay friend, who passed away of AIDS in 1994, at the unthinkably young age of 31. So much time gone by.
You would think, that after almost 23 years, that I’d be able to deal with a box of things rationally and dispassionately, but seeing his things, wet, his ID cards, his little statues, it was, somehow, like losing him all over again, sitting with him, holding his hand and breathing with him…until he didn’t anymore. And I am, for a moment’s time, drowned in the great wave of my grief, that ocean of sadness and tears.
I’ll be better, salvage what I can and move it to a higher, better spot, but oh, my Steffan, I miss you so much.