Two days after my brother Michael killed himself.
My mother, father, my old brother and I sat together at the kitchen making a list of people to invite to the funeral.
My mother didn't want it to be a big funeral because he killed himself, and she considered it embarrassing.
I said, "We should invite Melissa."
They said, "Why would we invite her?"
I replied, "Because he loved her, they were in love. When a person dies everyone they ever loved and everyone who ever loved them should come to the funeral."
"Noah, you're stupid."
That's what they said.
I was young once, and I was going to get married.
I don't think I've writen about that directly, but I was.
The girl is still out there.
The relationship was off and on for seven years.
When we were sad, when the rustbelt beat us down we would meet each other in the night.
There were so many tears we cried in front of each other.
I watched her graduate high school and she watched me.
I remember being absolutely convinced that I would be with her forever.
That it would never stop.
We used to joke about being old together, we used to sit in terror thinking of the other one dead.
We would always stop seeing each other.
And we would always have these moments when we would see each other again.
This one time, we hadn't seen each other for a long time, and we saw each other at the movie theater. She looked so nervous, and I know i was nervous.
It was nice to be nervous.
and of course we called each other soon after and made up.
I would really cry when we would break up.
I mean I would fucking ball, I would put on Sunny Day real Estate and just fucking cry like a little bitch.
We were engaged to be married, we had a little trailer, we had a home.
In this moment.
It has been four years.
We haven't spoken for four years.
A total silence from the person I was so convinced, I loved.
Nothing could have convinced me otherwise then.
Of silence from the past.
But still in some strange way,
I love her.
I have no desire to be with her, to unclothe her, to feel her nakedness, to be part of her life.
If she was sick with cancer or had a stroke, I would want to know.
I might even send flowers.
And if she died.
I do think, I would cry.
I don't want any harm to come to her.
I always ask about her.
But she is gone.
When she dies I hope somebody notifies me.
I don't know if it would be proper to show up to the funeral.
But one day, when no one would be at her grave, I would show up, and set down some flowers.
And as Kerouac said, "and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old."