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Monday, August 10, 2015

On Scents and Sheets.

{Ed. note: I wrote this almost a month ago. I've been sitting on it, unsure of wanting to share, but I think it's the first step in a process I've begun that I'd like to talk more about, so, here it is. - t}

I changed my sheets last night.

This in and of itself should seem non-monumental, and for many I have no doubt it is.

But for me, it was full of significance ... mostly because it had been definitely an incredibly long time since I'd last done it. At least two months, probably more.

(I know, I'm gross. But the truth of it is that in the span of a day, all of the menial tasks I have to accomplish bear their full weight at the end of each day as I crawl into bed and sleepily think that I need to change the sheets, but it can wait until tomorrow. If I'm the only one who is dealing with it and it doesn't bother me to any noticeable degree [of course, until it does] it's one of those things that just slides into weeks and yes, months, of tomorrows until I finally get to it before I'm already halfway under the covers.)

These sheets, however, were my last tangible reminder of Matt. They were the last linens he laid upon the last time we saw each other. They were where the scent of him -- his hair products, the cologne he sometimes wore, just him -- lingered on the pillows and blankets, wafting around me as I laid for so many nights, clutching to the remnants of his presence for as long as possible. They encapsulated the last physical impressions of where he and I and we shared moments and a space with nothing between us but our hopes and our dreams and our passions and desires and in the quietest moments, our seemingly unconquerable love. They were where I knew, if I laid just right and burrowed myself just so, I could inhale and hold that breath with the faintest of scents and feel a flicker as if he were just beyond my body space in the bed, sleeping soundly, awaiting my touch to wake him.

They were the last things I could lay my hands upon and still feel where he used to be, feel that residual energy and emotion and for fleeting breaths flash back to before all of this, before, when I believed him and that I, that we, could and would be happy together in plain sight in the very near future.

But they also were where, while I was in New York at BlogHer, where Kyle slept despite me asking him not to. And they were where, before that, I briefly allowed him to trespass in my brokenness and loss. They were where the scents and the memories intermingled until I couldn't discern to whom they belonged but it all carried the tinge of loneliness, reminders of who once was and then was no longer the body next to mine, the other half of a space and a life built for two.

Coming home and sleeping in my bed with Kyle's scent finally snuffing out the last hidden wisps of Matt's was the death knell I had been so ardently avoiding.

So last night, I changed the sheets. I breathed in the singular soft scent of my laundry detergent and felt the cool smoothness of unrumpled fabric. I purposely picked the silkier set, to encourage my fairly deprived tactile senses to stretch out and claim the whole space for myself. I nestled into crisply and freshly folded corners where movement had yet to disturb and unravel them.

And I exhaled.