Sooner or later there’s a chore to be done by one of us. The chore of missing.
Most days we can neglect it. But always it waits. Sooner or later, one of us, you or me, will tend to it.
Today I saw myself — for just a bit — as that one. Tending to the chore of missing.
I took one imaginary step down that weary road. Only one. For now we still smell the same air, feel the same earth beneath. Missing can wait.
But looking down that road, taking that one, hesitant step into your absence, I glimpsed what I would miss.
I wouldn’t miss eating with you so much as I would miss us cooking. Did we do it enough? No. Enough isn’t possible.
I would miss that awkward dance, two people making one dish. Entangled in the shared anticipation of enjoyment and fear of ruin.
I would miss us feasting long into dark, boasting how the recipe was all wrong yet we saved it.
Who but you would so happily agree to cook only the fried, fatty good stuff? And — just this one time — leave the lettuce in the crisper, responsibly wrapped tight so it doesn’t go brown before we fail to eat it tomorrow.
We count so many thousands of steps (and c’mon, can’t a person feel good about an 8,000 step day sometimes?) But how many steps did we count side-by-side? I would miss the tens of thousands never taken.
I would miss you out finding mischief, the phone left bolted to the wall, ignored and untouched for hours on end.
I would miss you bored of screens, lighting an irresponsibly large bonfire, an interactive 3D experience no screen will match.
I would miss your diving in. I would miss your patience. I would miss your grace. I would miss you, with the world removed. Instead of the other way round.
No missing today though. Missing is a sorry chore. It can’t be avoided, but it can damn sure wait.
I’ll happily put if off and hope that when I do settle in to miss you — if it is me doing the missing — I’ll miss different stuff.