The moment stretched for eternity.

I could see the screen as the image shifted, the doctor moving the ultrasound device.

He paused on a void.  He twisted and focused.

I saw a whisper of motion and then his smile broke the sound barrier and I knew what he was going to say before the words existed.

“There, you see it?”

I saw it, so did Lu.

“That’s a heartbeat,” he said.

It was true.  It is true.

There is a flutter of hope within.

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Our choices, our perspectives, how we handle adversity or celebrate happiness, each instance of decision is another step forward through the twisting path of our treacherous lives.

Music may have saved my life, my marriage, my soul.  Even in the darkest, bleakest hours of those first days with Silas suddenly gone, music pierced my impenetrable grief and keep something alive within.

I fucked up.  It was the two year anniversary of Silas passing, Lu and I couldn’t be together because of work, and I had no idea what to do.  So I planned nothing.

Didn’t call anyone in advance, didn’t make any plans. With Lu away it was  doubly difficult for both of us.

As the day approached I could feel myself tightening into that same awful shape again, where simple things like food and sunlight became taut and painful.

What do I do with the day my son was born and passed away?  The sheer awfulness of the anniversary immobilized me.  I was locked up completely.

I just posted “The Only Way” over at Glow in the Woods.  Head on over and have a read, if you like.

I should close this blog.  I should shut it down and walk away.  Perhaps this place these words my chronicled expectations are the jinx that prevents me from becoming exactly what I want to be.

I’m dangling.  I’m done. I’m done wondering when I get to be a Dad.

Oh yeah sure I know I know how I’m Silas’s Dad and like it’s all okay because you know it’s just fine.  You’re strong, you’re okay you’re going to be okay you’re doing great.  All true, except the Dad part.  Not that.

Got home at 2am tonight.  Got a ton of shit to do tomorrow.  I’ll probably go to bed at midnight tomorrow night after finishing everything I need to do.  Not that it matters;  my schedule is mostly my own.  Lu works hard, too. All the time she’s on the go getting shit done to run her business.

We do it because we can, and because we have to.  There is no Silas to dictate our lives.  In our hearts he’s there of course, but we don’t have to do anything at all to hold him there.  Out here in the apartment it is just cats and work and time together to eat and sleep and garden and read.  It looks placid, but that is because we’re good at this now.

I’ll sleep flipping over and over and over.  I’ll dream and maybe remember snatches.  They’re always the same these days.  They are always about the unattainable.  The dreams are about friends I can’t see at concerts that never happened.  Complex interactions and events cascade through my sleep and I flip and flip and flip over and over and over.

I’ve learned how to not clench my hands when I sleep.  Everyone should try this.  When you sleep, lay your hands flat against the cool sheen of the sheet.  Spread your fingers wide.  Lay your hands between the pillow and the mattress.  Sleep with your hands wide open and flat because it feels good and right and smooth.

I lay flat and I flip from back to front to side to back again.  No Silas.  Not a Dad.  This page is a mockery of everything I want.  It is an affront to reality.  I’ve gone for the hope, for the belief, for the obviously easy because everyone around us is clearly okay to make and have babies.  To be parents.

Elm City Guy.  Elm City Roaster.  Now maybe Elm City Bartender but Not in New Haven so Not Really Elm City Either… Guy Who Does Lots of Things Besides… Well… You Know… Being A Dad.   Elm City Douchebag.  Elm City Fuck You.  Elm City Leave Me The Fuck Alone Because I’ve Got Shit To-Do!

Phew.  I’m glad that’s out there.  I hope that didn’t hurt anyone, but damn that felt good.

Maybe I’ll be a dad someday.  Until then this blog is named as it is as a hope for what could be.  If anyone is listening/reading that can do anything about this, all I have to say is seriously, stop fucking with us.  We’ve had enough.

I’m going to be a dad.  Lu is going to be a mom.  We are taking actions and steps far beyond what most people have to do, but we’re doing it because it feels right and because once it finally happens I’m pretty sure we’ll be pretty good at it.  And that’s not bragging, that’s hope.

They squeeze me.  Thousands of them.  Millions.  Billions.  Tiny, invisible, impossible little clamps on every molecule of my body compress my form making me dense and heavy.

The twists are powered by hopes halfway and memories the other.  The leverage of those screws cannot be denied. They press me into myself and I fall into bed leaden.

Every day I make an effort to have a nice time out there in the World.  I’m not aiming for the stars, not trying to seize every single moment with fervor and gusto, I’m just gunning for good.  Good is enough if you can do it on a daily basis.

I sleep later now, every day.  I need an hour or so of semi-wakefulness to gear up and get ready for the chill and sunlight and this relentless, active life. I guess I still can’t believe, every morning, that this is the Universe I live in.

The wind and rain whipped me into a tailspin.  I thought I was ready for Monday after a relaxing weekend but by noon I was already soaked 3x, stranded at home and once again frustrated by the unyielding bullshit of banks, the entropy of automotive parts and the relentlessness of life.

It never stops.  Just when it feels like we might be getting our heads above water there’s something else clutching at my cuffs, pulling me below.

I’ve learned to hold my breath indefinitely.

Pulled down, down, down, down, down, and I hold it in me.  I hold a bit of light, a snatch of hope, a whisper of love, all of them deep in the depths of my lungs and I let the oxidized, leaden bullshit wrapped around my ankle pull me right to the bottom.

This is where most people freak out.  This is where most start to smash things and scream and shout and rage.

That’s how I used to be.  I’ve changed though.  Getting all worked up like that is too scary, now.  What was before just a pissed off tantrum at life’s crap has become a dangerous step into total breakdown, into unending tears, into that utter and complete despair I feel all too close in my past.

So I don’t freak out.  I stay calm.  I hold my breath and tighten my soul and I let the weight pull me straight to the bottom.  Down there I have a beer and look around.  I know this place.  I’ve been here before many times.  Always managed to pop back up to the surface eventually so now I just know to wait it out and stay calm.

The pressure is nothing.  The breathlessness is unremarkable.  The dim vision and chill is warm compared to the darkness and cold I’ve felt.  Just bullshit, this.  Just normal everyday life.  Cars need to be fixed.  Bank reps need to be dealt with.  Nothing here today is life and death.  None of this is anywhere near as bad as losing Silas.  But Bandha’s passing has put me on edge and the depths feel closer than they have in a while.  It is easy to flounder while missing our little kitty suddenly and our son for so long.

I see that the knot in the rope holding me under looks like the word Silas.  The swishes and loops and straight line, I know them inside and out so I know what I have to do.  I find that final loose end.  I find it and whisper his name and with a light tug the knot falls apart and I am free.

Slowly, I rise to the surface waiting patiently to breathe again.

Once again, my heart is split open.  I can feel it as an actual ache just behind my breastbone.  It’s the place that provides momentum when my mind can’t handle the pain.  I’m still not sure how we made it to the vet tonight but I guess I’m pretty good at driving through tears.

Our kitty cat Bandha was diagnosed with bone cancer of the jaw about six weeks ago.  The cancer was aggressive and tonight we had to let him pass, and it was awful.  He was such a comfort to us after Silas left us so quickly, and now he’s gone too.

Lu will have up pictures of our big, quirky kitty soon.  We’ll always miss you little guy.  Thank you for all the love over the years.

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