I hate waking up the morning after a break down. It's very anti climactic. Even last night, as I was melting into oblivion, I was able to think about how angry I would be when I woke up in the morning and felt "fine". Not fine, but numb. As if the horror of the night before happened ages ago, or that maybe it was something I'd seen in a movie once. Not that it happened to me, not only hours before.
As I lie awake in my bed, shaking sleep from my mind, evidence of the night before presents itself. My eyes are swollen from crying, my pillow still a little damp. The sheets twisted all around me. My body aches from the specific muscles strained as I curled up and wept. Remembering the feeling of lying on my back, tears streaming down my face into my ears, muting the sound of my cries. Feeling as if my chest will explode. Taking in small, sharp breaths and pushing them out of my lungs in time with the heave of my shoulders. Kicking off the covers in frustration. Sweating. Curling over on my side facing the empty space that was TJ's side of the bed. Gripping and twisting the fabric of his fleece that I lay in his place, soaking it with my tears and spit.
Then, slowly, as if my mind is showing me a montage of events, I am reacquainted with my thoughts from the night before. They're mostly vague, like some strange fever dream I can't fully remember. What I do remember; covering my face completely with both hands, shaking my head no, asking out loud "why why why". Forcing myself to conjure images of him. TJ in our kitchen, cooking. TJ at his drum kit in the basement when I walk in from the garage, TJ in his office at the computer. I stretch my mind further, trying to remember details. The way his shoulders felt when I wrapped my arms around him. The way he'd try and pull away from me when he was tired of the embrace and I didn't want to let go. How I would reach up from bed, arms stretched to him. Beckoning him to come to me, then watching him walk past me out of the room. He was always so busy doing something. I wonder if he ever regretted those moments. He would get frustrated when I'd hold on too long, or want too much of him. He knew I'd never be finished. But now we are. Does he understand now? And yet, there were so many times that he showed me. Probably more times than he walked away. Coming home to find him in the bathtub, candles lit, waiting for me after I'd told him I had had a horrible day. Sitting together in our living room, TJ sharing new music with me while we sat together and sipped our drinks. Watching him stand up and reach out a hand for me. We slow danced in our living room to a song by Band of Horses, though I can't remember which one. I felt the secure hold I had on his shoulders, I felt tears pricking my eyes before they silently slid down my face. He leaned in to kiss me, and I lingered on his lips as long as I could. Looking up at him, I curled my hand around the back of his neck. Gazing into his eyes, my voice was a merely a whisper "I love you. I love you so much. Can you feel it?" He smiled and nodded. We kept dancing until the song was over.
These memories are the only ones I can recall from last night, though I know there were many others that I'd sifted through in my sadness. I've been trying to record all of these memories that pop up. Seventeen years of them. I wonder how many I can unlock, long since forgotten. This is why I am upset with my numbness after an episode. I need to be able to tap into that melt down to extract the goodness. To be able to remember the images, the experiences I was plucking out of my brain and examining. I want to remember those as clearly as I'd felt them for the first time. I don't want to forget anything. I want to preserve all that I can, so that as the years pass I have something to look back on, to feel the warmth of his memory.