Day 363: Death Don’t Have No Mercy

Everything I was afraid would happen has happened. A year ago I was afraid that I would lose my connection with Miles. I was worried that I would dwell on “Miles” and not remember Miles. It’s happened. It’s harder for me to reach Miles. I think of him often, near constantly in some way. But I feel like I am thinking of “Miles” and not Miles.

“Miles” is all the ephemera and artifacts of his presence. The pictures– I am so familiar with them all, both the pictures of him and the pictures he took. The clothes he wore. His blonde hair. The way he walked. The way he sat in a chair. The way he ate. I have surrounded myself with many┬áitems that represent him and bring him to the forefront of my imagination and memory, but these are all “Miles” and not Miles.

In my mind, I recollect “Miles” more often than Miles. It is so hard and getting harder to elicit his memory in a real way. Sometimes it punches through the day-to-day and I feel his presence but also his loss. I feel the gaping hole. It passes and I come back to where I am.

In my mind, I dwell a lot on the meta-Miles and this is also “Miles” not Miles. There is an accumulation of effects related to his loss that burdens every hour. I wonder how to navigate a conversation with people I am meeting for the first time. When I meet someone I know, I wonder if they came to the house on that day. Did they send me a card? Did they send an email? Did they help out with our laundry or with food or with the memorial service? Did I ever thank them? Should I say something like thank you? Or do they even know what happened? Is it possible that people have forgotten? Are their wild thing stickers peeling off in the rain and cold? Are the posters put away in a drawer? All of these thoughts about the meta-Miles crowd out my access to Miles.

I am drifting farther away from that point in time where he is frozen, eternally 17. Always 6,458 days old. I get older and farther away from Miles.


Day 148: If I Had My Way

I listened carefully to this song over and over again. I could not tell how many people were playing guitar on the recording. One? Two? I could not tell. It was before the Internet, and there were no liner notes.

Years later, I learned about the Rev. Gary Davis, a street preacher and guitar player who was discovered on the streets. He performed to thousands during the folk revival. He is the only one playing the guitar in this recording. It amazes me still.

I wonder what Miles wondered about. I am sure he saw some photographs that he wondered about and asked himself, How did he do that? Miles had more in him than I do. More curiosity and persistence. He took it upon himself to learn and make his own art. I never really did.