I talked to Becca again today. She never says anything back. I can’t remember the last time we had a conversation. It seems like anything I say is exactly the wrong thing to break her silence.
It’s my turn to cook dinner tonight. I went into the kitchen earlier and it’s a mess. Becca must not have cleaned up at all. When she cooks I always clean up after her. That’s our arrangement, one person makes a mess, the other gets rid of it.
She must be out for a walk, she’s never around anymore. I understand needing space, but it’s getting a little lonely living in this apartment. I never thought one bedroom would feel like too much space. When we moved in we were always bumping elbows.
I’ve been reading up on Buddhism lately, trying to understand my place in all of this. There’s a section I read last night that talks about compassion, and how you can’t really listen to someone unless you love them. Maybe that’s all Becca does these days, love me. Maybe she’s trapped in that listening-love space.
The book also goes on to talk about space, and how ultimately there’s really no such thing. That since we are all connected – are really all the same thing – that space between objects is an illusion. A flower is in the clouds is in the soil is in my breakfast cereal is in me. So maybe Becca isn’t far away from me as much as I’m distant from myself.
Myself. My self.
Why isn’t she here? When was the last time we talked? Why don’t I know this?
A sound I’ve been hearing all morning isn’t going away. I thought it was outside but maybe it’s not. I’ll check all the rooms.
The bedroom looks horrible. It’s messy and cluttered and so dark with shades drawn. The living room is no better, dirty dishes piled without structure, stacks of unopened mail falling from the coffee table onto the floor. The bathroom – the answer is always in the bathroom.
I see it right away, black permanent marker on the medicine cabinet mirror directing me to “open NOW.” Inside, one large prescription bottle with a note taped to the top.
“Take this to forget”
Of course, now I remember.