Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile"
Today was one of the hardest I've ever had in my life. I'd forgotten how bad the feeling of irreconcilable loss could be. Mostly cause despite the various things that have happened in my life, I've only truly suffered it once in the past 10 years. One was the Sam issue, which fucked me up for 2 years, the other was failing my JAA Class 1 last year, the fallout of which is still occuring. These are also the only 2 things I've really cried over in the past 10 years. Excepting Dawson's Creek, Titanic, and Chris that is. Chris occasionally makes me cry, but that's relationship upset, not genuine loss or grief. These things have made me cry more than once sure, but its all stemmed back to one of those two causes. I tell you this to impress upon you the point, as if I hadn't enough in previous posts, that I do not cry easily, quickly, readily or simply. I have to experience a complete loss of control over myself for it to happen, and being the sort of person I am, the severity of a cause needed to overcome the control I can muster is exceptional indeed.
Today was one of those days. I watched one of my best friends, a guy I love (n.b. no, not another one I'm in love with, just one I love, dearly, call it an exceptional fondness it that makes it easier to comprehend what he means to me), who's incredibly special to me, walked out of my life. Quite possibly forever. And whilst he didn't do this out of choice - his visa was due to expire - and whilst he intends to return, there are possibilities that he might not. Family situations are complicated at home, coming back is exceedingly costly and complicated procedure, immigration systems worldwide are designed to keep people out, rather than flooding both affluent, or resource starved countries. And on top of this, being one of my friends, there's always the considerable risk of suicide. Not to mention freak acts of god(s) or natural occurances leading to death or some form of incapacitation. And whilst the boy has promised to ring me before he jumps off the chair with the rope around his neck, so I can at least tell him he's awesome and I'll miss him, I don't like the idea that I may, for a multitude of reasons, have seen him for the last time ever tonight, and certainly for the last time in quite a while.
And I was doing really really well at being the friend with the brave face. I was doing it for 4 of us. I was smiling, and joking, and insulting him in a friendly manner, and forcing my words out through the lump in my throat, because no words needed to be said. Because I have always had Joel's empath ability with Ryan; he doesn't need to tell, or even hint at a thing, because I already know what he's feeling. The best compliment I ever recieved off Ryan, was a simple "thank you" (actually, it was "thanks heaps"), because it said so much. Ryan's worse than me for hiding his emotions and being uncomfortable with people discovering the real him. Imagine me, raised to the power of me multiplied by me cubed. That's pretty much Ryan's level. So the empathness is great. We appear awkward with each other, but it's because we just don't need to say much to each other; we know and understand everything that's unsaid between each other without even acknowledging its existence in the first place. On the rare occasion we do express some form of emotional attachment towards each other its quiet, subdued, barely audible, and very awkward. Like 2 straight men admitting they love each other in a completely macho way. I spent Monday evening with him, and about the most we managed to say to each other with any seriousness about his impending departure was very quickly glossed over "I'll miss you" from the both of us. At the airport today, I even managed the goodbye hug without breaking down. Sure, I wasn't saying much because if I opened my mouth I would have started crying, and I held him as much as I could - Ryan gives the best hugs of anyone I know, except possibly Jme - but I managed a weak smile and stayed the strong supportive type against Ryan and Zac (the other one had left us by this point) who were both quivering messes. Ryan waited till the last minute, and then went off into the cordoned security area. But came back for that one last hug across the barrier just before he turned that final corner that would take him out of view, and out of our lives, for the foreseeable future...
And at that point I lost control. Like I say, I'd forgotten how bad the feeling of genuine grief is. Because whilst no, he's not dead, it is nonetheless a genuine loss, and promotes genuine grief. And I hate crying, because it never achieves anything, especially given I only cry over the inevitable, and I hate what it symbolizes in me. The amount of control that has been completely overwhelmed in order to turn me into a sobbing emotional wreck that I can't reassert any decorum over until its done, no matter when or where I am, no matter who's around me. When you're the quintessential publicly emotionless male, this is a lot. The opening scene from love actually was pretty much permanently in my head (and incidentally I do agree with it - you can find the greatest of emotion at the airport, love, relief, regret, grief, fear, anger, sorrow, its all there in its most beautiful and raw form). I watched him leave, completely at the mercy and whim of the tears streaming down my face, the emotion welling up inside me and overflowing out of me in every form possible that didn't involve soiling myself.
And whilst I'm annoyed at myself for it all, at the same time I guess it's good. That he was able to see that he meant that much to me, that when it came down to it, my body didn't give me a choice over expressing my emotions towards him, it forced them out of me against my will and showed him all the things we'd never said to each other, as we stood, 50 ft apart, looking at each other, physically and mentally traumatized by the loss of the only person who could possibly ever understand a part of us.
The universe had a cruel sense of ironic humour when it decided the first song on my music player after leaving him would be 'Smile'. Next magical project I'm working on is a permanent shield for my mp3. The universe delights far too much in fucking around with the shuffle feature on that according to my mood. I'm beginning to feel a little like Anton from Night/Day/Twilight/Last Watch.
Come back to us soon Ryan.
Come back to me.
Mood: Emotional wreck, more bouts of crying likely over next week or two.
Music: Some VNV on my phone, notably Beloved. None of the VNV on Spotify, hence on phone, and no link.