I’m writing this now because I thought that with time passing the moment would, too. But instead, it’s still just as clear and even though it was one of the most heartbreaking nights it was really beautiful and I’ve been wondering when I’d find the words to document it. I’ve woken up at three in the morning and sat in this same spot and the page stayed white. I’ve signed in while crying about one thing or another, knowing that it would trigger it, but still I couldn’t find the words. Though this might mean nothing to you, who decide to read my measly words, it means so much to get it off of my chest.
I went to California this summer with my family and my boyfriend. We rented a vacation home for the week with a luxurious pool in the backyard and tons of things to do all around us. My boyfriend had to leave the trip early so while he was still there we went to California Adventure, and we were going to go to Disneyland after he left. California Adventure was great fun, full of cotton candy and children’s screams and frowns of their parents who were done for the day. But this isn’t what this is about.
We went to our home for the week after having so much fun. We all took a swim and were getting ready in our separate rooms, then my boyfriend came to my room and we laid together. He looked for a movie to watch while I got on Facebook to browse what had happened back home in New Mexico while I was hugging Mickey Mouse and waving at Buzz and Woody.
While perusing, I learned that a girl whom I had taken an English class with the previous semester had just suffered a terrible loss. Before I go into it, I should say that I had fallen in love with the relationship that her and her fiancée had. I waited to see photos of them, we had talked of having a double date. They were happy, older, in just the kind of relationship I saw myself in.
Anyway, her fiancée had died the day before. In a zip lining accident, for crying out loud.
I guess I’m writing this because the part that surprised me the most was how much the death of this man affected me. This man, whom I had never met. I literally started bawling on the wood floors of a vacation home in Anaheim, right on top of the outfit I had laid out to wear to Disneyland in the morning after dropping my boyfriend off at the airport. I was hyperventilating. I wanted to call her but I didn’t have her number because we weren’t really that good of friends. We didn’t talk until the very last day of class. We added each other on Facebook and Instagram and that is when I fell in love with how in love they were.
My boyfriend was leaving the next day and I couldn’t stand the thought of letting him go, not then, not after that. That whole night he held me even though we were supposed to stay in separate rooms and he whispered to me all of the sweet things every girl hopes to hear. And I didn’t sleep. We stood up at four in the morning and we put our clothes on and I dropped him off at the airport. I went to Disneyland that day and my heart was broken-not because I was hurting but because a wonderful person was hurting and because something so perfect was lost and because he was on a trip in another state than she when it happened. And I don’t know what their last words were to each other because I’ve never met him to know how they speak to each other but I’ve seen quotes from him and I’ve seen the way she looks at him and I’m sure it had to have been something beautiful.
I watched her disassociate herself from society and I watched her quit school and I watched her handle it so much better than I would have. And now I read a blog that she writes about the adventures she goes on to all of the places that he wanted to go. She thinks of him and she misses him and she gets through every day.
I’ve never been so moved by someone’s death. I guess because I’ve been really fortunate. I’ve had distant family members pass, but never someone close. I know I didn’t know this man, but the way they loved was so familiar that it felt like I knew him. And the way that she copes makes me feel like I’m coping, too. Maybe it’s selfish for me to feel so affected by a person that I didn’t know, but god I broke down. Not just because she was hurting for her loss but because he was no longer here and he seemed like the kind of person that should be for a lot longer than only 32 years.
You’re supposed to feel like a kid again at Disneyland, but I had never felt like more of an adult than I did in that moment.
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
The Home of Charles Darwin, Down House. Kent, England.
This is the greenhouse where Darwin grew all those snow peas and developed his theory of Natural Selection, as well as many other experiments.
manhattan window view
I want to live there really bad
this is perf