I just watched a trailer for a movie. And, it did what it’s designed to. It made me want to watch the whole thing which is a pretty big deal because I have not watched more than a couple movies since Mike died. Without him, sitting on the couch feels lonely and lacklustre – so I’ve avoided it in an attempt to spare myself from another reminder of his absence.
Watching the trailer for this regular, run of the mill action movie made me miss my old life. This movie clip made me want the life I had with him back. Yep, a clip for a movie I’ve never seen made me miss him more than I already was. I miss him more because I need him to watch this movie. I’m fairly wimpy about viewing anything even remotely scary so I always relied on Mike to watch suspenseful movies with me. And, now, I feel ridiculous because I can’t bring myself to watch a movie without him.
How has this become my life?
What the hell is the matter with me?
I am a grown up.
I do not need Mike to protect me from the bad guys in a movie.
Somehow, I do.
I do need him.
I need him here with me.
He made me feel safe.
And, whether there is a movie playing or not
I would feel safer with him by my side.
Since he died,
I’ve been scared a lot because I have to do everything on my own.
Since he died,
I’ve been forced to do a hell of a lot more than simply watching movies alone.
I’ve been forced to life alone.
And, this is far from easy.
When Mike was alive, at night time we would prop up the pillows and lay in bed watching our favourite shows.
I remember feeling Mike’s eyes on me. He would often watch me watch the show because he was amused by my antics; and, more than that, Mike adored me. He couldn’t keep his eyes off me. I miss being loved like this.
My movie watching behaviour is predictable and something he liked to observe. When things start to go sideways for the characters, I always cover my eyes and carefully peer out from between my fingers.
When I did this Mike would smile and say, “Honey, nothing is happening.”
And, to him, this was likely the case.
Mike was a police officer. He was trained to be steady and calm when things got out of hand at work. He carried a gun for a living and for him gun fights weren’t just in the movies. He’d seen his fair share of trauma at work; but, when he took off his uniform he was just Mike.
Since he died, I have wondered if he thought I was ditzy because I get scared watching movies. But, if Mike thought this he never said it.
In truth, I think he liked the way I take in a movie because it is the same way I live my life.
And, I’m enthusiastic.
And, I’m hopeful.
I believe in possibilities.
I’m an optimist.
I believe that good
wins over bad;
both, in the movies, and in life.
Mike loved these things about me.
(And, I like these things about me too.)
Secretly, I know that Mike liked when I got scared watching shows because I always snuggled up close beside him – where he liked me best.
I miss being there.
I miss sharing my life with him.
I want to be beside him again.
And, right now it feels particularly lousy that he’s dead.
And, it is also annoying that I am missing him a lot more than usual because of a movie that I’ve never even seen.
At this moment I just want him back.
I want to cuddle up to Mike.
I want to feel his strong, protective arms around me while I hid my eyes and sit listening to the movie.
I want to turn my head into him so I don’t have to watch the scary parts.
I want to lay my head on his chest and hear his heart beat.
I want to stay there,
with my ear pressed against him until it gets hot.
I want to stay in his arms forever so I can make certain that his heart will never stop beating.
I want to fall into him and feel his skin against my cheek.
I want to breath in his smell.
I want to feel his warmth.
I want what I can not have.
I want Mike to still be alive.
I want him to be here so that I can I ask him if the scary part is over.
I want to ask Mike if it’s okay to open my eyes yet?
I originally wrote this in September 2018. And, nearly two years later, I still don’t watch television. It’s been almost four years since Mike died and I just don’t watch movies or shows – ever. I think I have viewed maybe three to four movies in the 3.8 years since he died and none of them is overly memorable to me.
When he first died, I felt Mike’s absence on the couch when I sat there so I avoided being on the couch. With the inability to sit on the couch TV became problematic. I stopped using the couch and with that I also stopped watching TV. And, now, years later, I don’t miss it. I don’t watch any television post-loss because I just don’t care about the shows anymore.
These last years, I never bothered to turn on the TV and now I have simply fallen out of the habit. A few years ago, I cancelled my cable and I have no desire to subscribe to it again. I am sure I would earnestly enjoy some of the programming, but something else inside me just doesn’t care about sitcoms anymore. I know that there are a variety of programs that extend beyond these kitschy shows, but I just don’t care to look into it.
In contrast to me, Mike had his TV on all the time. Before I came into his life, he was a single guy living on his own. The characters of his favorite shows kept him company at night after work. He was lonely and he was bored. I get it. I live this same life now. I understand why Mike had a TV in every room. The noise of the TV served to dull his loneliness and it fill the quiet space. However, for me, I do not nurse my loneliness with the television. Instead, I have my own “medicine”. I attempt to quell my isolation with: cycling, writing, coffee shops, restaurants, FB, phone calls and zoom calls. My efforts work about as well as the television worked for Mike. They don’t do much to fill the void. There really is no escape for loneliness. It is what it is.
Speaking of Mike, he would think it is sacrilege to have a home without cable; but, this is my home, not Mike’s. I make all the decisions now. I made an executive decision. There is no cable in my house. There is no television dulling the silence. In my space, there is just me and my thoughts on the couch.