Today I got into an accident (don’t worry: I’m okay). I cracked open my skull is all, and then I broke my nose about two minutes later due to the concussion I thought I didn’t have, but that’s okay. Really, I’m fine. I’ll survive. But there was a point in which I thought that I was going to die; that my brain was swelling; that I was going to have permanent brain damage or that my nose—which I hadn’t yet seen, but felt like a bowling ball had crashed into it—resembled Owen Wilson’s. The way I looked at it was that I’ve lived a good life for the most part and nothing ever bad has really ever happened to me until three weeks ago; so something bad was bound to happen; and I was certain that BAD MOMENT had finally happened. And all I could think about was not seeing her face again. Her baby-thin hair, her blue eyes, her smooth voice, her many moles, her odd tattoos, her sort-of-large-but-perfect-to-me nose, the way she had very thin—impossible to see, unless you were really close—hairs branching her eyebrows together (no, not a uni-brow, but something majestic, mythical, imperfectly perfect), her habits, and her imperfections. Especially her imperfections: that’s what makes art art: if art was perfect, it would be science—or boring, at the worst. I thought I was going to die, and I wanted to see Justine Vandermeulen again. She was art to me.
But she was gone. Gone in the wind. Gone in the waves. Gone in the smoke of the bridges I had burned when I was hurt and pathetic and begged for her to stay but I really pushed her away. Gone. But not gone from my heart.
There’s a watershed moment in everybody’s life—a turning point, in other words. And that moment happened today when I realized I didn’t want to die alone. And I wanted to have her there. I almost cried sitting there in the hospital bed (when the doctors were gone, of course), thinking about the mistake I made when I pushed the love of my life out of my life. She wanted some space and I suffocated her with antispace, with neediness and begging her to stay stay stay.
Then she said goodbye.
But she’s out of my life now. And I’ll regret it until I’m in the ground.
If one day you—Justine Louise Vandermeulen—ever Google your own name and stumble across this, I want you to know that I thought of you when I thought I was going to die. I wish we’d never said goodbye. But chances are you won’t Google search your name, probably a guy will, a future date perhaps. Hey YOU who reads this, don’t you dare treat her unkindly if she ever gives you a chance (and don’t crack your knuckles either; she’ll pretend it doesn’t bother her, but it does). Justine Vandermeulen might not be perfect, but she’s the best thing you’ll ever have in YOUR life, so don’t screw it up. And if you have her, you’re the luckiest guy on the planet. I’m jealous it can’t be me.