7,300 Sunrises

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 | Family, Gay, The Dating Game

20 years ago, around this time in the morning, Manny died. Manny was my first lover, my great obsession. We had been together for 8 years. Over the years, I’ve tended to recognize these markers on the day we met, or his birthday, rather than the day he died: Manny would have been X years old, Manny and I would have been together for X years, etc, etc… But this morning I can’t avoid observing the immense span of time that’s passed since his death, particularly since the pain associated with his loss seems, suddenly, so fresh. The whole time he was dying I comforted myself by saying that I’d forget this time, I wouldn’t remember him like this. I remember his beauty and vibrance, but I remember the horror of seeing his body covered in lesions, his legs swollen from edema, the indignity of dying so young.

Young is a relative term. He was 34 years older than me, so today he would have been 80. I can’t honestly say that I could imagine that sitcom, but I also can’t imagine loving him any less.

Every day I think of him, his voice is so alive in my head. I can still feel him and smell his hair. How can he not be here, when my sensory perception of him is so acute? Here comes the sun, just as it did after he died, just as it has every day since.

In the movies, when someone dies, it’s like the end. The music swells, the tears fall, and the screen goes black. Finis. But the theater lights come on, you dry your tears, and walk out of the theater into the blazing light of day.

2 Comments to 7,300 Sunrises

carol komater
February 4, 2012

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights with us in memory of Manny. 7,300 sunrises does seem like a long time, and a testament to you and the wonderful life you have continued to live and have made for yourself. But those stabbing memories also mean that your heart is still full and alive. love, Carol

Jenna Ludwig
February 6, 2012

Beautiful, post, Chris. I feel what your saying. Gene, Jeremy’s dad, died 19 years ago this coming July, and his memory is sometimes as vivid as if he is right in this moment. Ours was a complicated relationship, but I did love him very much. Life is never like the movies, is it?

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