I’m not sure that I want to call it “December” but I’m having trouble with another title. It comes after “Stent” and “She, Dermaptera.”

December reminds me of you.

Your clothes didn’t fit anymore. We weren’t sure if buying you any was necessary. We bought you a lot of things that we weren’t sure about. I wasn’t sure what we weren’t sure about, sometimes. I felt indifferent towards Christmas. It felt wrong. It almost felt strange to be celebrating. I wanted it to end and I didn’t want the New Year to come.

I bought you two books and a movie. Both ideas were fairly religious but the card I wrote you had a father penguin and a daughter penguin. I always got you cards that were meant for fathers with young children. I can’t remember what I wrote in it but I know what I would write this year. I think I know where we would be at right now, in our lives. I think things would be better for us. Better for you.

I wasn’t sure if the books would get read, or the movie watched. The movie is still in its plastic wrapping, on my shelf where I keep books and films. It stares at me and I’m happy to have it now, safe. It stands for things I’m uncertain about. But it’s about everything you were interested in it. Everything that was helping you find yourself and save you from ways we couldn’t, or anyone. I think that’s why I still have it.

I have so many things I can’t let go of, like the movie. I have sheets you scribbled on with numbers and incoherent writing. I can make sense of certain pages though:

Asked again about dying. Said som some recover,
none after revival unless
brain dead.
Ask Dr. in any signs prior to—
if all vital is good is that
ok? Wherew Will there be n notice
If advance (e.g. kidney) etc

You were losing your ability to write but I kept anything you wrote down in the notepad, the one you wrote in because you couldn’t speak. I kept cards from your mother. I kept a teddy bear someone got you as a gift that sits in my room back at home. What am I going to do with it all?

I’ve kept material fragments to hold onto and collect because they won’t disappear and I am attached to them. I am attached to them because they aren’t a disappearing act. Because they are yours. Because they are what I have left, alongside memories and ashes.

December reminds me of you. The nights remind me of the nights at home that didn’t work out for you. The streetlights, traffic lights, snow on the ground, frosted and foggy windows, I picture all terribly well. I picture it and it feels like I have a welt on my heart. Sometimes I can’t even cry because I feel clogged up, heavy. It feels like hell sometimes.

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