You didn’t think we’d follow from across the sea, but what did you expect? You were the last one left. Bodies are bound to bones, but we are less sedentary.
It must’ve been lonely, that whole life spent on shifting soil. Forced to bury not just your parents, but other things half-known and half-loved. Our words, our histories. What else is left when your last link to us is severed?
Nine-to-five, wine-at-six, television, American football, beer-at-nine, video games, divorced-at-thirty-five.
Your parents always thought your life was too easy. They thought that they were the best of us, but we think it got to their head, all that trailblazing, all that traveling. No, and we speak for most of us, we couldn’t have done it much better.
We were there when you were born, watching your parents exchange only tears with the nurses, because they didn’t have the words yet. We watched long, mind-numbing, hours of PBS and Cartoon Network. We listened to all the audiobooks of Curious George and Spot the Dog. We learned the rules of four-square and dodgeball. We learned when the door was closed for “privacy.”
We were there when you had your first kiss, your first heartbreak. We were there at your wedding. But we were also there at the bar watching the Texans get pummeled by the Eagles, and you passed out, after your wife divorced you. We were there for all eight seasons of Game of Thrones, that you binge-watched in three weeks. We kept your son from choking on a cork when you were too hungover to leave the couch, but still had custody that weekend. We woke you when you dozed off for that split second on the road to Big Bend, after you’d finally gotten your act together, and brought your son on his first camping trip. We stood with you, with him, on that canyon-top, stretching out across the desert. We felt the silence, and the Rio Grande, and the wind across the dunes, and the stars spinning overhead.
When you die too, you’ll finally see. We’ve been here all along.