I've gotten better since I saw you last. Not much, but a little.
At first I was broken. I didn't know how to work well without you there, so I think I tried too hard to bike straight up and down, rigid and hurting every time I hit a deep pothole. The air went out of my tires and the vibration traveled up my arms and settled deep in my bones. I had to learn how to ride all over again- start slow, pushing off, setting my shaky feet on the peddles before getting any forward momentum. If I started to go too fast, I just fell over since it was easier and I only got more bruises on my old ones. My heart was beating so hard in my ears I couldn't see the straight yellow lines on the middle of the road, faded and shining after it rained.
But I'm not good at sad. My DNA maps out how well I am at being happy, loving sometimes too hard. This often means more hurt for me, but loving harder is exhilarating and the only way i know how to do it.
The last time I loved you so much that I felt overflowing was when we were making blueberry pancakes. We didn't use a recipe; just the box of mix I didn't use and ended up in your kitchen. A cup of mix and 1 and 1/2 cups of water. But you just put mix in a cup and kept adding water until it looked right. I washed the blueberries, bright and tempting me to put one in my mouth (you didn't mind- or notice- when i did). It was a two part process when you swirl the batter on the pan before I plop the blueberries on top of the pancake as it sizzled. The batter folded in on top of the berry, surrounding it the way my mouth did earlier. Your arm circles my waist and your hand rests on the fold of my flannel pants, your thumb comparing the contrast of skin and fabric.
I am overflowing with joy, giddy at your touch and smelling pancakes cooking with blueberries, especially for us.
But then you take your arm away. Fold them across your broad chest. Let me fall into another pothole without offering your hand. No more knight in shining armor.
No more mornings waking up next to you.
No more blueberry pancakes.