Or more specifically, about the fact that you are gone.
I don't know how it took a month for you to push your way into my heart, how I didn't fall in love with your laugh the minute I first heard it in that basement of offices. It’s not that I disliked you, I just kept you at arm's length. Somehow, I kept you out until New Orleans. That wild, spontaneous, exhausting trip to New Orleans, you and me and him getting lost and finding our way in the winding streets of the French Quarter. Stumbling upon the shop of cartoonish voodoo dolls. Eating gator sausage only weeks after my vegetarianism had fallen to its demise. I fell in love with New Orleans that fall day. And I also fell in love with you. Not in a romantic way, that would have been foolish. But in the way that I wanted to consume everything you would give me- art, literature, love, heart, soul, mind- consume, absorb, learn, and emulate. You were infectious, and I caught you that day.
So much of those two years is a blur from my memory now. I don't remember all the classes we took together, but I remember your shadow puppets and your masks. I can tell you what you would eat each week at Sitar Sunday, but I can't remember if I sat next to you every day for a year. You just became this fixture in my life, and I didn't look back. I would always be guaranteed candy or a mom cookie if I came to your office where we would plan our trip to Wales. It was so effortless for you to make a genuine connection and for two years you were this unshakable, beautiful rock in my life, as though you had always been there.
When I left Alabama, when you still had a year, I disappeared. I needed to decompress from that time, and got absorbed into my work and my travel and my traveling work...... I left you, because I had to, but I wanted so badly to keep you and I knew what would happen when I left. I knew that I would disappear myself from your life, not out of choice but out of habit. Work took over, and I lost you for a few months at a time, but each time I would pop back up in Alabama, every few months, your smile and laugh were waiting for me.
I almost lost you when the tornado came through. I was terrified for all of my loves in Alabama, but you were in the front of my mind as I waited for news. I thanked everything in the world that your office was in the basement, hoping it kept you safe while the town was getting destroyed, while I anxiously waited, 600 miles away for news. It broke my heart that I couldn't drive to see you, to hug you, to know you were safe, to help the community that had brought you into my life.
The last time I saw you was a beautiful spring day, after you too had left Alabama and were heading home, but stopped to have lunch with me. I don't remember what you ate, but I do remember that you jumped out of that moving van, and wrapped your arms around me, and I knew that you understood my absence, that you had never questioned it, and that most importantly, you really hadn't disappeared in that tornado. When you hugged me goodbye, I knew that it was until next time. It was until we could create worlds together. It was until Cardiff. It was everything except what it actually was- goodbye.
6 months later you announced that your cancer was back, but that you had beaten it once, that you could beat it again. I believed you, and I kept booking work, I stayed busy, knowing you would have it no other way, and that I would always be able to come see you when the work slowed down. In October of this year, I told you about a Roman centurion that had gotten on my train that morning. I also apologized for being a terrible friend. I didn't know how sick you were even then, you wouldn't let me. Two days before Christmas, you let everyone know that your arm had gone “on vacation”, but that you were grateful your mother didn't have to host Christmas this year. I replied with one simple word- Love. I didn't know what else to say, I thought it would be enough to let you know I was thinking of you and that I would see you again. Because I had to believe that you would come out the other end of this perhaps a little weary and war torn, perhaps skinny and weak, but with a smile and a laugh, and then we would go to Wales.
I have spent the last few days trying vainly to share you with those who were never blessed to know you. How you never met a person that you didn't want to teach, who you didn't see a raw talent just waiting to be urged into taking flight. How you were willing to take risks on people, giving them the chance to succeed if they would only take it. How everyone was your friend, you were just waiting for them to discover it.
Six months into our friendship, you introduced me to the Doctor. And suddenly I was escaping where we were and exploring ideas with you, and you became my mad man with a blue box, my Doctor, my passage into worlds that only you knew. The beautiful thing about the Doctor is that he doesn't die, his story will always continue. His companions lose him, and they are forever changed by their time with him. You have left me stronger than when you found me, with a more beautiful view of this world and the people in it, while you have moved onto other adventures. You fought a war that took its toll on you, but you remained inspiring through each and every battle, and I will always remember you for your love.
Goodbye my beautiful mad man. I hope that your next adventure is filled with the love that you brought to this one.