Saturday morning and it’s growing light.
I look out my window and remember the night.
The story is starting and this story ends
And I feel like I need you again.
The verse above is from the song “Saturday Morning.” This is the song that’s playing on a loop in my head today. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just been that kind of a month — a month when I am missing people who are no long accessible to me. (And yes, I am a huge Harry Chapin fan, despite the fact that he died a few years before I even discovered his music.)
One of those people I am missing is a youth minister named Jerry. He and I once lived together — along with half a dozen other people, including my first husband. No, it wasn’t like whatever you may be thinking, unless you are imagining a really crowded house filled with some of the funniest and best people I know. Scott and I had our own bedroom, but I don’t actually remember where Jerry was sleeping. The living room sofa? The bedroom that was eventually used for Ella’s baby? I just don’t know. Anyway, at some point Jerry realized that I couldn’t walk past the chess board that sat atop on old piano in the dining room without straightening the pieces. After that, he made it his sacred duty to give me something to straighten, just so that he could laugh up his sleeve at my OC tendencies. One evening I came home late to find everyone in the dining room eating dinner (or playing a board game — I can’t remember for sure). One of the pieces on the chess board was on its side; naturally, I stopped to correct the problem. Everyone burst out laughing, since Jerry had guaranteed them that I would stop and straighten the chess pieces. I’m sure I must have blushed when I realized that he was right — I couldn’t leave a chess board messy. After that, I averted my eyes from the board whenever anyone was around.
Jerry has been gone for years now. He left a big hole in the lives of those who knew him. I’m starting to recognize that every death leaves a hole. I’m worried that I’ll feel like Swiss cheese in a few decades.