The things you learn, over tea, and wine, and whiskey. Over airport layovers, and lazy Sundays.
Over time. Overlapping. Overwrought.
I’m so here, to hear you.
I’m so wide-eyed, at your wonder.
I never knew. Till you unfurled, all sidesteps and sighs.
I never saw. Till we strolled, and you shone.
I never noticed. Till you sent that midnight smoke signal.
And now? I want to know. And know. And know.
Never stop letting me know.
I never knew…
That you were an idiot savant microsurgery tech, who taught intricate heart repair techniques to the chief of surgery — as an undergrad. And you weren’t even pre-med. You stone cold science fox.
That you talk to strangers, everywhere you go. Especially in retail shops. And you never mention the weather. Ever.
That you survived unspeakable abuse, and cultivated forgiveness. For everything, and everyone. Even your illness. Even God.
That secretly, you just want to sell cheese.
That you were there, when they founded that skeevy club that we secretly love. And you were a regular. (Ha.)
That you used to roll with Oingo Boingo, and wear purple polyester suits, and date Italian models. You go, dad.
That when your lungs burst, it felt like an elephant pressing your chest, but you still found the strength to tell me to get dressed. And then hold yourself still, while the ambulance came up the long canyon road to staple you shut.
That when you’re tipsy, that Oklahoma twang comes a brawlin’ and drawlin’. Dahlin’.
That you think John Leguizamo is fabulous, too.
That you’re going to own an apple orchard someday. And that’s final.
That you’re happiest when you’re singing sad songs, to a crowd of none.
That you can be deaf — and a DJ.
That while I was dressing like a boy, you wanted to be one.
That you don’t need much space to live in, but you need to whole planet to be free in.
That you had your heart broken so many times, you made a career out of it.
That the day before my third flying lesson, you were lighting things on fire — at Burning Man.
That while I was entrenched in teenage angst, you were spiraling into someone I could adore.
I never knew
Till I got lucky
Enough to know you
Or at least the pieces
You wanted me to hold
While you put the rest