Veterans Day just passed and you crept into my thoughts.
That’s a lie.
Your entry into my mind wasn’t subtle or surprising. It was like the never-ending freight train that you see approach from a mile away. The same loud, ugly thing that passes in front of your face and tests your patience.
Regardless of how you returned to me, the point is that you returned. Or at least your memory did.
I recalled a night when I wore a brand new black dress, cut much too low in the front. You wore Blue pants with a red stripe down each leg, a High and Tight, and a slight grimace I had long since associated with the Corps. We danced that night. It was our first dance and probably our last.
When you first left us, I didn’t care. I was happy. I thought, “Finally.”
But the rebellion turned to anger. The anger morphed into hurt. Now there are so many feelings; too many to properly identify. If I can’t identify them, then I can’t treat them. If I can’t treat them, then they haunt me. Every day is a fight to retain my identity and not bend and be defined by my emotions.
Once it became clear that your departure was of the permanent variety, I began writing you letters. By hand. There weren’t many. One here and there when something big happened. After a while I stopped writing the letters. I was tired of seeing my desperate scribble punctuated by dry tear blotches. Besides, there was no address to send them to. So I gathered up the unsent mail that called the bottom of my trunk “home”, and threw it all away.
It’s taken a few years but I’ve changed my mind. I will write to you but this time I will type out the words. I want no record of my feelings. I merely want to tell you about my day. There’s still no address to send these to. That’s ok. They’re more for me, anyways.
Yes, I thought of you on Veterans Day. I thought of you the days and weeks prior. I’ll continue to think about you in the time that follows. Maybe one day you’ll return to me. Maybe you won’t. Either way, I’m working on myself.