remember amber

kirk israel

You and I had been together for 3 years.

Engaged and everything!

But now the engagement is off, our little ship of domestic bliss has foundered.

Splitsville. History. The big goodnight.

Every year for the past few years I've made a comic for 24 hour comics day...

and this year I want to commemorate what we were, mark the things I want to remember most-

knowing someday I might forget.

We shared so much music. your early romantic mix for us...

listening to my ongoing playlists of new stuff in your car

and it was great how our two cars, scion and yaris, were such a cute matched set!

And sometimes it was just little things. Our mutual fondness of "that's what she said!" jokes

how your dad owns bookstores-- a poetic detail I adored.

And your librarian training... sexy librarian ahoy!

(Still admiring the way you parlayed it into a tech career. "Programmer wrangler", as described by me, the programmer)

The way you laugh, hard, at pratfalls, especially pretty women in fancy dresses.

The way you turn your head and lean into me during the violent bits of movies.

Your nervousness driving over bridges...

...and taking you on the niagara falls ferris wheel... you were petrified, but afterwards, more brave around bridges

(and Niagara falls in general was lovely)

ORANGE. (The eternal go-to color for you.)

Your endless supply of reusable foldable bags (some from your dad's bookstore)

The quiet genius of the no-slam, slow toilet seat and cover...

You reading the new yorker, and not just for the cartoons.

My realization that any new yorker caption contest could be answered with "[grumpy description of the scene], god damn it."

You liking having your wrist held--

and an affection for the transcendental number pi.

Us indulging in talk about new gadgets, and in the new gadgets themselves.

And how every new iThing is your excuse to find cool gelaskins...

...sometimes echoing your affection for tree motifs.

Our collection of postcards, posted in the kitchen.

Your love of the game Centipede.

Trying for high scores on the home setup I made for you.

Lately, finding you can relate to silly gun shooting games- a small bit of overlap between us.

My inability to remember which light switch is which... and how at my oddball "paint ceramics" birthday, you making a light switch plate with clues for the three switches in the kitchen.

I've grown to rely on your critique of the little games and toys I write, and your appreciation of the ones I make especially for you.

You buying me a second copy of my tyvek london tube map wallet (no matter how worn they get)

How our wifi password was birthdays- not original to you and me but fun to rattle off and impress friends.

Our making love, bodies, mouths, hands. A little "oh" of delight when you realized maybe there was a bit more pleasure to be had.

Small things: shells and stones on the back of the bathroom sink.

That picture of you as a six year old on your parents' fridge... your wide eyed expression, the golden glow

Sharing an online calendar, a manisfestation of our shared days.

And switching to Skype from email for our workday communication. Being in touch was really nice.

Me signing off texts "xoK"

Our little rituals. Reporting my lucky 222 to each other

or the old standby of 420 jokes

Our coffee ritual -- 8 cups, the 9 or 10 setting on the grinder

I liked taking the responsibility for the dishwasher. The magnet, clean/dirty.

Walks to spy pond.

Biking to work together--

Waiting at the dunkies (your iced black coffee, mine iced with milk, my bacon wrap)

Sitting on the t together...

and on my way home, bringing you flowers from the stall at alewife. Maybe not often enough.

Notes for our chipotle orders (Yours: no dressing, no rice, black beans, chicken-- a little hot sauce, a little cheese, extra lettuce. sometimes a side of guacamole)

when we'd walk to quebrada for weekend treats...

(...that was before our diets! We've been so good at losing weight.)

and how Emma always knew those white paper bags meant cheesy goodness... (and the weird way she loved any salty chips.)

Her evening (and morning) whining I could do without. But it was part of life.

Though somtimes the deluxe diner was a better bet for breakfast anyway.

More little things you liked. Your crush on Zooey Deschanel...

how much you liked star trek: the next generation

The other de-stressing with tv series we'd do, all online... LOST.

The Office, Parks and Rec, Archer...

Game of Thrones.

Enterprise. (Feeling sad we may never get through the final season.)

Your bubbly best friend Sam, always a good excuse for me to get back to Cleveland

and your mutual invention of the drink the "Meryman" -- gin, tonic, lime, half a splenda

(and your ritual, leave the old lime in for refills, and when your drink was too full of limes, it was time to stop drinking Merymans.)

Those trips up to new hampshire!

Your sadness at the loss of the Old Man of the Mountain.

Other times together... kayaking with friends on our first fourth of July--

but you pulling ahead sometimes, reflecting alone.

Trips to new jersey...

your shock at the power of the waves I had grown up with.

My silly "intellectual farmer" hat--

the pinball museum... you getting all the high scores on centipede!

I love how you learned to play Dr. Mario with my family...

and your overall closeness with my aunt and mom.

Brunch at the triad with your dad -- the corn beef hash!

and galleries or the museum after.

Bigger things. Our first date. drinking sugar daddies, wearing a silly tropical shirt, finding out o captain my captain was the name you and sam had bestowed upon this kirk...

kissing outside green streets

Our trip to Europe-- especially Paris-- was really special. You'd never been to Europe. I'd always wanted to be in love in Paris

and I finally was.

The terrific museums ... l'orangie, the orsay, the l'ouvre--- especially centre pompidou

The picturesque cafe at the end of the street -- so damn picturesque they were shooting a movie there one of the days

But above all, taking simple evening meals on the balcony... a jug of wine, a loaf of baguette -- and Thou.

But sometimes, memories of random times come unbidden... collaborating on swordfish skewers.

Waiting for the naked hippies in the musical Hair.

Times with the Peterfolk--

Other times... like painting your new apartment - the wonder of the modern paint roller

and the bathroom down that weirdly skinny and long hallway. I never heard you pee for all those months! (I thought maybe you didn't make noise in the bathroom.)

And when we got our apartment together -- just went for the first one we looked at because it felt right.

Once it was set up, you said it was probably the nicest environment you'd lived in, wanted me to agree. Foolishlessly, I demured, but you were right.

And your idea for a future remodling of the basement, to have a bedroom and bathroom. Again I scoffed, but again I'm thinking maybe you were right after all.

There are some failures too. I was always a little bugged by you not minding being placed on a timeline of people I've been close to, I wanted you to be the ultimate, in the literal sense.

And now... the timeline has its say. A definite start, a fairly definite end.

I'm sad i never followed up on learning to cook.

Sad we never pursued maybe seeing a couples therapist. I guess by the time it seems important to see one, it's kinda too late

How I never got us a ball and mitts to go play catch.

Shiploads of Thuya are still what my body wants to say to your body.

I like how early on, what you wanted from me was a ring. The symbolism wasn't lost on me. I'm sad it didn't stay.

I'm sad I didn't give you the kind of adoration you need. Didn't make the connection you craved.

I miss you.