There are thousands of moments every day when I miss you. When my alarm goes off in the morning I miss your annoyed groan before I sneak sleepily out of the room. When I’m singing really loudly in the car, beating on the steering wheel and tapping my lazy left driving foot, I miss your pitch-perfect harmonies. When I change lanes in an intersection I miss you carefully explaining that it’s unsafe. Same when I forget to indicate, break suddenly without checking my mirrors or cross double lines to chuck a U-turn. I miss you calling me Fangio.
When I’m writing about love and lovers all day long, sorrow and loneliness slows my heart down til I think it won’t beat again; I miss being your love. When I write something I’m proud of I miss sharing it with you and lolling in your praise. I miss how carefully you pay attention and that you point out the exact word or phrase you like best. Each time I get a text message/email/phone call I miss seeing the name I have always called you – which no one else does – pop up.
When I settle on the couch in my PJs after work I miss your mock shock at how quickly I changed out of my day wear. Every time. When I’ve cooked my dinner and am choking down each boring bite I miss your completely sincere declaration that the food I cook is your favourite. When I’ve fallen asleep on the couch mid-movie I miss waking up with my head on your shoulder or on a pillow in your lap. When I wash my face before bed and look up to see my mascara-smeared panda eyes I miss seeing you smiling back at me in the mirror, telling me I should always do my makeup like that. I miss you laughing at me because I can’t brush my teeth without getting toothpaste all over my face, foaming at the mouth like a rabid raccoon.
During the hours I spend trying to fall asleep, I keep tucked to one side of the bed so as not to disturb you where you should be. And when the snakes chasing me in my dreams break my slumber I slide my hand out to where I wish you were, but you aren’t there. I miss waking up to find you’re holding my hand in your sleep.
When I’m in NYC, walking bewildered down famous streets, past famous sights, I miss hearing you say, ‘I’ve been there.’ When I’m at a bar you’ve played at and mentioned so many times, where the bar-lady is your friend and would be mine too if you were here, I miss you. I miss you right before I fall asleep in my fancy hotel room and the moment I open my eyes early the next morning. I miss you to tears when you call me to make sure I’m ok and having the best time.
At Katz’s-world-famous-canonized-in-a-Nora-Ephron-written-film-Delicatessen, joining the throng at the counter, four, five, six people deep, I miss sharing my hungry anticipation and excitement with you. As I scramble to snag a table for two, I miss sitting across from you, watching you practice drum paradiddles on the edge of every table, then on your blue jean knees when I tell you to stop.
When I’m jamming the huge handful of Katz’s Pastrami sandwich ($16.95, “smoked to juicy perfection and hand carved to your specifications”) in my face I miss knowing that you’ll give me yours to finish once you’re full. I miss your succinct two word food reviews and their accuracy; I miss the thoughtful, confident pause while you think of the two most fitting descriptors. I want to tell you that I think the sandwich is ‘gigantic and slightly damp’ but you’re not there and that’s too many words anyway. When I look back I miss you; when I attempt not looking back I miss you. When I think of the long stretch ahead I’ll miss your big heart, singing harmonies and holding your hand while we sleep.