it’s the weird things

At least if there’s some contest for obscure grief triggers I’m winning.

The things that have upset me the most in the last few days: a NIST update email about an elliptic curve cryptography publication, and people discussing estimates of when self-driving cars will be mainstream.

Not Halloween, or parties without you, or starting to plan for hosting Christmas again without you.

But just all the goddamn things that I wish I could hear your opinion on one more time, or that I wish you could explain to me one more time.

Your 16-month deathiversary was ok. No worse than any other day. Playing on the swingset you never got to see was ok. Dealing with toddler-wrangling while I have a migraine is hard, but ok.

Missing the car rides with you picking me up from work, you coming from grad school evening classes at the buildings near Rockville, MD – how we used to go to the rather crappy yet crowded town center and get burritos for late dinner – how you used to tell me about what you were learning in crypto or AI class – missing that has me floored.

I want your patient doodling after we’d get home, continuing the conversation over a beer.

I want sangria after a hard day at the Mexican place across the street from our apartment in those days. Nibbling some of the fruit at the bottom of the cups, lingering too long at the table, giggling.

I want to go back, sometimes.

Like Jack to Ianto in the shitty and wonderful Torchwood fanfic you’d tease me for loving so much. One more time to see the earlier years. To remember.

I’m not as almost-ageless as Jack. I’d have to observe but not interact, till I’m fully grey, lest you know my visit means you die way too soon compared to only the too-soon that we expected. So that leaves things like Quarryhouse pub where it’s dark and loud, then. New Year’s in Baltimore. Street festivals.

I guess this is what I do now when I’m crying into your grey and purple striped shirt. I pick the time-travel targets for the Time Agent wrist strap I don’t have.

I made a friend who eats persimmons and the fruit from the bottom of sangria and has comfortingly bad programmer handwriting and she’s everything and nothing like you. I don’t mean to compare

but I look for hints of all the things I love about you in every face on the street in everyone I interact with

in your pillowcase long since folded and placed in the drawer after it no longer smelled like you

searching and not yet accepting that it’s me who has to embody you who knows you well enough for you to be the ghost voice in my head

come home, I tell myself

but where?