Things I Will Miss When I Die

I will miss those great moments of being moved by something.  Those huge emotions.  Like the night in L.A., when I drunkenly stumbled to the stereo at the place I was sharing with my dear friend Berv and cranked up the stereo to hear “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”.  The depth of  emotion in Garland’s voice just produced so much longing.  I understood so much about the beauty within her, and the magic that was being produced.  And felt a longing for and a connection to sadness, because the only way you can truly feel sadness and longing is through having glimpsed true happiness.

I will miss flavors.  Lemon, pumpkin, caramel, cherry.

I will miss stars.  Driving out on the highway late at night, windows down, some fifties doo wop song in my ears, randomly exiting and then turning down a rarely travelled road.  Pulling over to the side and crawling on to the hood of my car.  Looking up into the stars in wonder.  Stars, proof of magic.

I will miss the sweet connection and companionship I get from Ira, and from Travis and Ross and Lambeau.  I've loved all my animal friends. 

I will miss holding someone I care about, lying in their arms, tucked up in them, nestled in them.  Feeling safe, and feeling like I am keeping them safe.

I will miss the frivolous things.  Daytime talk shows with their inane chatter and designer pillows.  Novelty glasses, comic book characters, Saturday morning cartoons...
I will miss having the kind of friend you can call and meet at the grocery store, or at Target, just to wander through and do your chores with someone.

I will miss nature.  Of feeling like a small thing amongst the majesty of the natural world that I exist in, and that was here long before me. 

I will miss the amazing feeling of a really good poop.  Sometimes that feels like the only accomplishment I need, and I rarely take it for granted.

I will miss the excitement of wandering in the woods on a trail, the feel of the air against me, the smell of wet leaves, the sound of water.

I will miss children, and their sweetness.  The way they look when they are discovering the world, their occasional faltering, their trust, their hope, their tiny little hands, the purity of them, the uncomplicated nature that I don’t know if I will ever get back.  Nothing can bring joy to a day like the sight of a kid in a Thor costume on a Tuesday, at Randalls.

I will miss the thrill of going to the movies with my mom.  The decadence of eating a big old box of buttered popcorn and drinking a Coke in the darkness, letting go of all kid-hood troubles and losing myself in the giant pictures and sounds up on the screen.  Sitting and waiting until the movie started again.  Seeing it a second time and feeling the jolt of excitement and the privilege of it.

I will miss the comfort, the surety and the retro stability of a good plaid shirt.

I will miss being bundled up in my bed with the ceiling fan on. 

I will miss flirting with that cute guy, brushing my arm up against his, and feeling his fingers brushing my bicep, realizing that he is flirting back.  I will miss the feeling of wanting to get lost in the experience of him, to dive in deep and come up gasping. 

I will miss playing dominos and shouting, laughing, singing with my crazy, perfectly imperfect family.

I will miss the wind hitting my face and fingertips.

I will miss dunking chocolate chip cookies in coffee.
I will miss the Hollywood Bowl.  Nights in the open air with a good friend, juggling picnic food, drinking red wine from plastic cups, listening to sumptuous music and occasionally glancing in their direction.    Whispering in their ear, straining to hear when they whisper something in mine.  Smiling next to them, knowing we are sharing a perfect night. 

Joe Hartman