little deaths

2019 has been a year of little deaths. What I mean is folded up notes of endings shoved into my pocket, one after another until my pocket is bulging.

I had a break up that was very hard. Very, very hard. I lost my lover and best friend and confidant and writing pal all at once. So it was a big death, the folder of it. But each thing after it was a little death. The first time I saw her name on an email, the first time I reached for my phone to text her about an inside joke and realized I wasn’t supposed to text her anymore, the first time I saw someone with hair like hers, the first time she didn’t come to writing group, the first time I had to explain to someone that we weren’t together anymore. And the second time, and the third time. Little death, little death, little death.

The night I saw my ex again, she looked as good as she always does and I wanted to sit in the chair next to her, pull her hand into my lap, but instead, I sat against the wall in the back, crossing and uncrossing my legs. That was also the night I found out my coffee shop had been bought out by corporate overlords. This home I had built for myself, this place that has been so much a part of my becoming would no longer be mine. It was another bulging folder of folded up little deaths that would fill my pockets. The last time I make biscotti, the last time I steam milk, the last time I see each of my many customers who have brought me so much joy over the years. My pockets crammed with endings.

Tomorrow morning I will open the coffee shop for the last time and tomorrow afternoon, I will close it up. When I drive by it in years to come, my boys will remind me I used to work there, that it used to be called Crane Coffee after the bird Nebraska is known for, that I used to make Holden the coffee he likes. In the years to come, these little death notes will be placed in a box on the high shelf of my closet and I will look at them occasionally but I won’t feel them every day. But now, in 2019, little deaths are everywhere so I think in 2020 I’ll pay attention to little beginnings instead.

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