I wrote this during the NCAA tournament.
Watching the basketball game tonight, I thought back.
Three years ago, I was amused by Ian’s fervor for the tournament. I have always hated basketball, but his enthusiasm was infectious. At that point, I was still not aware that I loved him. I knew I liked him a lot. I invited a new co-worker who was visiting from out of town to join us while we hung out and drank. He talked to Ian and decided that he should work with us. I hadn’t considered the option, because I didn’t know that he was interested in working in tech support. When he expressed interest, I thought it was the best idea in the world.
Two years ago, as was his tradition, he took the two days off of work, and we texted about the games throughout the days. I still didn’t like basketball, but again, his love for it made it fun. He loved to explain things, loved to talk about it. Loved to teach. And because of his love of it, I loved it too. I was avoiding hanging out with some of his other ladies because they didn’t like me, and I was trying not to make waves, so we texted to coordinate, and I would join him when it was safe.
A year ago, we were 3-4 months into a rule I’d imposed on myself. I was concerned about his drinking, uncomfortable with the fact that he was slowly killing himself, and hoping that by me being unwilling to be with him when he was drinking a certain amount, he would tone it down, or even realize that it was a really big problem and stop. We texted off and on throughout the days, stopping when he’d drunk too much. The hiatus was torturous for both of us, and we kept circling back to the same arguments again and again. Shortly after the tournament, I caved. While it was hard for both of us, I was less adept at drowning/ignoring/denying my feelings, and I was unable to stick to it.
Today? Today, I don’t know whether I wish I’d stuck to it harder and longer, or whether I’d never tried at all. On the one hand, maybe I would have eventually got through to him, and been able to get him to sober up. On the other hand, he was stubborn, and it was more likely that I wouldn’t ever have been able to get through to him about it. So maybe I wish I’d never done it at all. The amount of time with him that I lost to that seems so much more precious now.
I still feel like a broken record saying that I miss him. But I do. All the time.
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