In the Beginning

Week 14 + 3

This will be the first (of perhaps many) letters to you. Maybe one day you will read them all, or maybe this will be long gone in the mist of technological advancements by the time you have grown up enough to understand all of this. Who knows. It’s in English as well, which serves as a good code language between us. Your mother most likely won’t be able to keep up with these ramblings anyway. She once told me she quickly loose track if anything is in English! By the way, I do hope you will find usage of the English language as exciting and fulfilling as I have through the years.

First, well, I’m sorry it took a while! I had a few issues to take care of first. I’m sorry I’ll be a bit of an old fart, but here’s the thing; I don’t plan on being old. My father always said; keep yourself updated on your surroundings. Embrace new technology. Always be positive to advancements. Never let the world pas you by while you’re stuck in some godforsaken decade where the internet sort of doesn’t exists (except when you pay your bills). Stay on top of the world and the current. I plan on doing the same. It truly is good advice.

On New Years Eve 2001, Axl Rose took to the stage for the first time in almost 10 years and told his audience; “I have traversed a treacherous sea of horrors to be with you here tonight”. I have to admit I feel the same about this. I could write a book about it all, but it won’t be realistic enough for people to buy into it. I am confident it will be worth it though.

Right now, I don’t even know if you’re a boy or a girl. I can honestly say I don’t care. I’ve seen you on a TV screen, wobbling about in your mothers stomach. You be nice to her. She have been feeling unsure and unwell. Treat her nice. It’s not her fault. It’s just nature and hormones. Life experience even. Just make sure you grow right and be all healthy. It would mean a lot to her. Comfort her, and care for her like I do, and it will be alright in the end.

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The Ragged Edge

Wednesday. D-Day. Low risk? High risk?

I have a terrible night. Vivid dreams. I dream the call is made from the hospital with the comforting words of “low risk pregnancy”. I get upset when I wake up and find out it was a dream. Another dream follows quickly. My dog, in my care, is let into a huge compartment store and for some reason dies in there. I wake up again. My girlfriends daughter is sound asleep in her bed.

I notice when daylight arrives. I hear the morning train howl it’s familiar sound on its way to Oslo.  I finally look at my phone. It’s 0655. Five minutes before the alarm.

I get her daughter ready for school. She behaves proper. I give her milkshake for breakfast since its the first time I’ve taken care of her in the morning. I forget her wollen socks which my girlfriend notice at onces when she arrives 30 minutes later. I make my girlfriend fresh orange juice as is the norm these days.

We exchange a couple of words before I take her daughter to school so she can sleep off a hard nights work. “If it’s a high risk..then….” she starts. “I don’t want to use sick days to go to another ultra sound”. I had booked one for Thursday just in case the result would be high risk and this drama would not be over yet. I am surprised it doesn’t mean enough to her for a sick day, but like a lot of things I just swallow that one too. She says she needs to sleep and won’t answer the phone when they call either. I shiver at the thought of another day or another night in limbo but let that go as well. What can you do?

At 0900 she sends me a surprising Snapchat message. Doctor called. Low risk. There’s nothing wrong with the baby. So, that’s over and done with. Funny how so much worry and so much aggression and frustration can be dealt with in just one simple fucking text.

It’s week 14 now, and we’re at the end of all this. I’m about to let this little secret out to most of the world, and she can’t stop me. That’s it. No more.  Then I realize it’s me we are talking about. I am sure there will be another curveball within hours or days. I am ready.

Acts of Sacrifice

Here’s word of advice if you want a divorce or a break up after living together for quite some time.

Be prepared to die.

It truly is the best way to describe it. You and your life will die. You will die at large if you’re truly unlucky, all depending on what the break up will involve. Your life could die in so many ways that you are only left with your core basics of what defies you as a person. Your family, your health (sometimes not even that), your values and morals and maybe your job (if you got one). The rest might be gone. That may even include your children if you got them

I can honestly say that I have died. And I was down to the core of myself.

Just watching TV with my wife, talking the dogs for a walk together (or alone), going abroad with her, living in house I thought I would live in for a long time, possibly raising children together, having good conversations or listening to music. Objects and items that was mine but are no longer mine. Daily routines now gone never to return. A whole life just gone. It really was a different life. I am even surprised that I once lived that life that are now gone. She is gone too. I see her when I pick up my dogs sometimes. I don’t even see my dogs as much as I want, and I love my dogs. Because they belong to my former life, and I died.

When you are with someone for such a long time, I think most people develop a “we” personality. A third personality where you and your partner create an individual between yourselves. It is partly you, and partly her. When you die, that personality dies too – and that will never ever return. It is simply dead.

I can honestly say I didn’t think it would be this bad, and I often find myself longing for parts from my former life. Perhaps just a Saturday morning where I wake up at 0800, take the dogs out for a walk, come back inside, pour myself a glass of Coca Cola and write for a couple of hours. Then she wakes up, and makes Belgian Waffles or something. She understood my interests, she tolerated my music (and even liked it) and had no prejudice towards what I enjoyed watching on TV.

But then I died, and it all went away. A past life. A complete revolt.

All I’m saying, if you’re thinking about splitting up,bBe prepared to die. Because that’s what it feels like. Your life will be gone. You have to start over. A lot of things you took for granted will be no more. And I don’t think you’ll ever be the same. I won’t be. Death does that to you.

Messages from Earth

It dawned on me in the shower at 11pm last night.

I am being harassed.

It’s like when people come to me at work, frustrated.

“I’m not angry at YOU”, they say; “I’m angry at the system!”.

So that’s it. I’m being harassed by an unknown force that often finds women to do its dirty work. Whether its the ex-girlfriend from 2003, the ex wife, the ex-girlfriend from 2017 or my current girlfriend.

I am simply being harassed. There are no other words for it. My girlfriend jokes about it being because I had my name removed from the church books. While the idea is laughable, even I start to wonder what the hell is going on.

Last Wednesday we went to Oslo for a risk assessment on the baby. The risk for three serious conditions including Downs Syndrome. For the entire duration of the day – up until the subject changed, I had to endure a never-ending spree of “I don’t want to do this, I don’t want the baby” speeches. Some of them beyond any common sense I should spend time replying to. But yet I spent the first four hours trying to talk sense and logic, and most importantly remaining calm and supportive.

The problems started when they did the measurement of the Nuchal Translucency. I wasn’t sure of the measurements involved, and when the doctor said it was “a bit large”, shit unraveled quite quickly on the way home. This was my girlfriends ticket out. This was my ticket to hell. However, the blood work wasn’t done, so what we really were doing was discussing an unfinished test with a risk asessement for Downs that had not increased more than 3 points (from 140 to 137). Well, that was enough for my girlfriend anyway. So, in a room of 137 people, one of them have Downs. I thought that was a bit of a weak decision to have an abortion on. The real odds isn’t even in yet. Afterwards, I did extensive research on the subject, and anything below 3 mm is normal, anything below 3,5 is also considered normal (depending on who you ask). It also depends when you actually measure it (week 11 to week 13). Some people operate with a 1 out of 10 chance of Downs if the measurement is above 3 or 3,5. In addition to all of that, the measurement was difficult to do and the one who did it was under training. The doctor eventually took over and tried to do a better one herself concluding with “well, that will have to do”. Gee, that was comforting, thanks!.

This is just never ending harassment. All I want is peace, quiet and a normal life with a family to care for and love. But something/someone/ is simply harassing me. It doesn’t help when my girlfriend late at night is so frustrated about the pregnancy that she is on the verge of a breakdown. And I’m stuck in the middle of it all where women in my life goes from crying for not becoming pregnant to crying because they are pregnant. Is there nothing inbetween? Seriously??

And so to you, the one who keeps harassing me; step out of the shadows of hell if you are Satan. Come down from heaven if you are God. I will face you both. Show yourself. If this life and universe I live in is a a mere complex simulation, I ask you to leave your game and face me like a real man. If this is because of something I did in my past life, I am truly sorry for it but enough is enough already. I can’t take responsibility for it. If this is the work of dead relatives, then at least tell me what I am doing wrong. If this is just because the universe wants knowledge and experience, move on now. Find someone else to harass and gain knowledge from.

I want peace, quiet, and comfort.

Stop harassing me.

A Day in the Strife

D-Day is looming. Or at least thats what I think. I thought the first ultrasound was D-Day but it was more like the Dieppe-raid. But enough with the WW2 symbolism.

14 of March is D-Day. Her last and final attempt at getting rid of the “problem” is a check-up to see if the size of the feutus is corresponding with her blood tests. If there’s even a slightest hint at a problem, she’s “taking care of it”. It’s interesting though, how the Christian of us is less Christian than the self-proclaimed spiritual atheist. Me. But I can agree to those terms. If there’s something wrong with it, I’m not keen on dedicating a large portion of my life to helping out a disabled individual.

And so the days go by like this. The best of days is when her family is around, especially her father, and talks sense to her. She has so much respect for him that she doesn’t really object to anything when he simply speaks what I welcome more than most – common sense.

I tried getting her onto the topic of names, but it didn’t really work out well. And then we get into very strange arguments. Like my interests or the TV channels she got. She suddenly hates commercials and wants to get rid of all TV channels because she doesn’t watch them. She suddenly only wants to watch NRK, the equivalent to the BBC or Netflix. I tell her that if she’s doing that I’ll pay for the TV package because I greatly enjoy channels like History, H2, NatGeo and Discovery. When I tell her about certain shows like “The Curse of Oak Island” she finds it “distant” and “strange”. She sometimes speak with prejudice about computers and people who like to spend time with computers, games and programming, and I find myself in a position where I have to defend myself and my hobbies/interests. She says she doesn’t want to be compared to the locals and often look down on the locals and speak of them in bad ways – but in my book she’s just like most locals; ignorant and prejudice of technology, and ignorant of topics, shows and issues that are not Norwegian. I am not like the locals, and I’m not like my generation of locals and I’m often enough not even very Norwegian. I guess it’s all the anger and frustration talking from her side though. There is a whole world on offer to her, but she doesn’t want to grab it because it feels “weird” to her.

D-Day is fast approaching. After D-Day is over I am either making a plan to tell my parents and my friends or I am in complete chaos and utter dismay. And what’s most funny is that I am so confident it will be alright I’m not too scared of D-Day at all.

The Long Dark

Well, I don’t know what this is – but this blog is turning into some form of twisted pregnancy blog. Like if you take a normal pregnancy and all the happiness of it – and write a blog, but then you twist that into something completely obscure and unreal. Some sort of sick joke. Like shit you see on a soap opera, and giggle in silence while you drink a cup of coffee because it’s just not realistic. But in this case it’s all so real. What a way to start the first and only time I will have a shot at fatherhood. I should have been writing down thoughts and wonders about life. Instead I’m just hanging on to my own sanity.

I often thought about how I would actually write such a blog. How my child would look at it when he (lets just use “he” for the time being) grew older and would wonder at the fact that I was writing all this down to someone who wasn’t even born. The question is – can I actually show my child these blog posts? Will he be disappointed in me or his mother? It’s not really suppose to be like this.

And the fact remains still; I don’t even know if this will turn out in the end. Maybe there will be some sort of problem in the next coming weeks and it will all end? So maybe this problem if you may will be nothing anyway.

A major hospital in Oslo called. They offer all women at 38 and plus a more extensive check-up than what is normal. She had obviously talked to them about her feelings because the woman at the other end had repeated the mantra of “nobody decides this for you – it’s your body and your decision”. Which is all fine. I don’t have anything against it. I support womens right to choose. I assume she “forgot” to tell the hospital lady that she had already agreed upon having a child with me (in principle, not like really going for IT), and had second thoughts. But this is how this game works; I have nothing to say in the matter. My opinions doesn’t count. I’m left as some form of Sideshow Bob with no rights, opinions or say in the matter. Half of what is inside her is mine, but yet that part of me is not mine. Its hers and she is in complete control over it and thus also my destiny and well being. My health.

It was last Monday or Tuesday where she wrote to me that she felt pressured into doing this. I went completely insane. I called a friend and spoke (screamed) to her about it. I was trembling with anger. I called my psychologist from last years drama. She was not working there anymore, so I called on further to find out where she was. I set a date with the doctor as well – for the 14th of March. Just in case. I was furious. It’s like signing a work contract and then later on complaining you feel pressured into going to work. The nerve! My friend calmed me down though, and the next day I was feeling alright. I guess because we didn’t speak more about all this when we met. Not then and not yesterday. It’s at those moments I actually Google each week of pregnancy and start to have a glimmer of hope in all of this. Names or sex is still beyond. To imagine telling my mother is way beyond. My own health is shot for the time being.

When this is all over, if it goes well even, I will have to do deal with two things in this relationship; trust and anger. My trust in what women (including her) tell me or promise me is completely blown out of the water. It is zero. And I have lots of anger at her, me and the situation in general that created a matter where the biggest and greatest thing someone can experience have been – at least in this first phase – completely destroyed. Articles online clearly says; “this is the time to start taking photos of your stomach” You got to be kidding me? It’s all ruined anyway. I start taking photos of her now? Last week I tried to touch her stomach, and she pushed my hand away.

And to you, unborn little baby. I am sorry. This is not my choice. I have nothing to say in this matter. I can’t fight for you, I can’t do anything for you. Just cross my fingers that someone in the end will see common sense.

 

Chrysalis

“I don’t want to do this” she repeats to me; “I don’t want to do this.”

We’re about to take a left off the main road. Minutes from being home. Home. What a concept. I live either here nor there. My things are in my house, my heart in another. Not complaining though. Housing issues is the last thing on my mind.

I decide to go again. Use all my arguments. Common sense. Feelings. Social and political. Religion even. Funny how the atheist (me) is more pro-life than the proclaimed Christian (her) is. But yet I can slightly understand the fear in her. Her fear is without doubt real. Her face is often in deep thought.

I rattle through some arguments based on our common economy and the state of the world. I speak with my brain. Then I switch to speaking with my heart.

“I’ve been through too much already. I can’t go another round. Seven years of heartbreak – I can’t do it again. If you do this you will have my support and love. If you don’t do it, I can’t promise you anything. I might need your help.”

She doesn’t really answer, although she says she understand. Seconds later, we’re home. Before we exit the car, I give up and say;”

“Fine, whatever. Do it. Just do it. I will pick up the pieces of my life and put them back together once more. Turmoil is nothing new to me when it comes to this.”

She doesn’t really say anything.

“I’m not going with you if you will do it, I can’t. I can’t see my only chance  of fatherhood end like this”.

“I know,” she replies.

I walk around the house like a zombie. I sit down. I get up. I sing a few Aerosmith songs in my head and laugh when I for some reason do the live version of Mama Kin off this live album from 1998. I am slightly scared I am going nuts. This is all too surreal. Just surreal. Being at that private clinic together with her. The doctor greeting us. How those pictures just popped up on the big screen. Two arms, two legs. Heartbeat. So easy. So accidental almost. So easy. So this is all it took? Surreal! No one can make a movie about this. It’s not realistic!

How many times did I sit beside my ex wife almost like this? Too many. I’ve seen too many ultrasounds. Too many times a doctor studying a big fucking needle before she inserts it into my ex wives vagina and suck out eggs like a machine. Two eggs, three eggs, four eggs. She’s screaming out in pain and agony. Then she is ushered out again in a wheelchair, and we head back home. Come back in a few days to insert one or two of them (if lucky), alright? The nurses always talking about “the golden egg”. I still get pissed when I think of those cliches. It’s just more pain. More ultrasound images of needles and small embryos on a screen. Even a print-out of it. A souvenir. And then we head back home with our heads full of stars and hope. And so we wait for a few days or so, and then comes the never ending disappointment. Nothing. Just nothing.

We did this for so long. So much disappointment. It was all there was. Disappointment.

And now this.

“It looks like a normal pregnancy” concludes the doctor. He refers us to Oslo for another check. She’s after all not 25 any more. Norway takes care of its pregnant citizens. And now I have to go to Oslo again. Not with eggs in a machine and a tiny hope in my heart but with a real chance. The tables have completely turned, and I have a serious issue actually trying to hold on to all the twists and turns I’m being served. It’s like I’m in this reality show where someone is just twisting nobs and pressing buttons to see how yet another curveball will be handled by yours truly.

A day later she calms down a bit. Tells her father about it. Her mother too. They do not react with shock or disappointment. Just hopes. Hopes of her doing the right thing. We all agree. The shock was too much for her to handle. I understand. There’s still time to do the right thing, and if she doesn’t decide – time will decide for her. There’s comfort in that.

It’s surreal. On Facebook I read about a friend facing an ultrasound a few years ago. They were told there was no heartbeat. And I just gaze at a screen and the doctor says “look, that’s the heartbeat”. So easy, but yet so fucking difficoult. I know how it can be. I’ve seen how hard it is. Seven years of it.

I go again.

For the last time I go again.

It will be alright this time. I can’t imagine anything else.

 

Shadow Dancing

I’m about to go down that certain road again, and to no choice of my own.

Just like last time I was clear, confident and made sure I got the right answer. The “yes” answer. The “yes I would like a family and I would like children” answer.

This time around I was even more on edge than before. I desperately wanted to do it right. If there was a certain insecurity about the issue I would pick it up like a boat searching for the coastal lighthouse.

And I did. I stored every hint and talk about it in my mind. There was no insecurities. And months later, I came out and asked. I told her the whole story (although we had touched upon it) and I asked her. “Children is important to me”.

Just like last time, the relief I felt when I asked and got the right reply was heartfelt and sincere. I had done it right, I had played my cards right. My gut feeling had been right.

“Yes I would like to” was the answer, with a follow up “what if it won’t work?”

I replied that it didn’t matter, because I had taken my decision. I only wanted to be in control of my own destiny. If it didn’t work out, by biological reasons, that was fine. It was thing and I would deal with it accordingly.

I was happy. Truly happy. I got involved with her daughter. Her family too. Never before have I felt such happiness and confidence in my own ability to make the right decisions. Never before have I been so sure I had done the right decisions in the past. I did everything by the book, and was proud of it. And here she was, a girl I could trust. A girl that wouldn’t let me down. A girl that I asked one of the most important questions you can ask, and she agreed to it.

A few months later and she became pregnant. I knew it before she even knew it herself. My understanding of human biology is perhaps further advanced that most people bother to think about. My happiness reached a whole new level. My love for her daughter grew day by day. I felt like a father. I felt like I had a family. And my struggles would now be crowned by the ultimate victory and joy. Pregnancy. I was to become a father.

Things started to unravel quickly after the two lines on the stick appeared. She backtracked. Unsure. Scared. Confused. She’s suddenly telling me she wakes up every morning in panic. She feels like she doesn’t want a child after all. Too much worries. Too much struggle. Too much of everything.

And this is where I am today. Stuck in a state of confusion. A limbo state where I do not know if I should laugh out of happiness or cry out of desperation and despair. A state where the unthinkable is being discussed; abortion. I am not against abortions. I believe in a womans right to choose, but not like this. Not like this.

Because I asked. I asked.

 

I pull out all the arguments I can possibly do. I act all professional, trying to speak sense into her. But nothing works. I go to the verge of threatening her. I am in tears every time I think about it. I try everything that I can to explain. This is the most important and biggest thing a human being can experience, but I am not even allowed to be happy. I can’t be happy. I can’t tell anyone. I can’ tell my mother.

I asked. I can’t believe you are doing this to me. Because I asked you. I asked you, and you said yes.  I did everything right. I do not deserve this. I did not deserve it last year, and I do not deserve it now. What wrong have I done? And now I’m involved. Strong feelings for both of you. I love you both dearly, and now you are doing this to me. I can’t believe you are hurting me like this. Not you of all people. Not you. Please no, not you.

Secrets of the Soul

For children, Christmas is a time filled with anticipation, magic and wonders. The 24th is day full of excitement waiting for presents to be opened in the evening. Many children recieve outdoor equipment, whether its skis or snowracers. Others get toys, clothes, candy or even a new iPad. The holiday always feels longer than it really is for kids. The fridge is packed with good food, and the parents are often more leanient on sweets during this wonderfull week.

I remember Christmas as a child with the outmost joy and wonder. Those magical hours on the 24th of December before opening my presents in the evening. The distinctive smell of traditional food in the house all day. My mother singing Christmas carols to herself in the kitchen. Maybe an hour outside on my slalom skis during the daytime. Opening presents in the evening and being in utter shock when I actually get that Super Nintendo game I wished for. Looking at my younger brother being in awe over having Santa visiting and giving him presents. Eating leftovers on the first day of Christmas watching the Narnia series on TV. The countryside is always covered in deep, white snow with little to no traffic on the nearby road. Christmas seemed to go on forever, and then came New Years. It never stopped.

It is perhaps an undeniable truth that the distinctive  feel of the holidays disappear once you get older. The years go by quicker, and those specific emotions you  have as a child never really catch you the same way when you’re grown up. You may, if you are lucky, get sense of the old times when you’ve all grown up, but it’s never really like it used to be. Maybe you’re trying your best as a parent to bring that certain excitement to your own children but not feeling you are suceeding. If you haven’t started your own family, perhaps those feelings and doings of Christmas simply fade away.

I used to be married to a foreigner with no emotional or tradiational connection to Christmas. She didn’t know of, and did not have any fond memories of the holiday and what it could bring. She had no connection to the classic movies on TV. No understanding of the Christmas calendar TV series prior to the 24th. She had no interest in the traditional Norwegian meals. As there were no children involed, there was no real sense of good old Christmas except for those short visits to my parents. Perhaps it would have been different if I had a children. I would have made sure that they too experienced those wonders and excitements like I did when I was young. I would have caught on again as well, and it would have felt more like Christmas – this time seeing it through the eyes of my own child.

The Christmas holidays, for me, have been fading away for over a decade. Last year I didn’t even bother putting up a Christmas tree. There was no point in doing any of it – alone. I had time of work, but I don’t remember what I was doing except walking the dogs and feeling depressed. I didn’t do any of the things I did when I was young any longer. Heck, I didn’t even own a pair of skis any more, and I used to love being out on skis. It was all gone. Everything I loved about the holidays had gone, piece by piece. I never watched the movies or the classic TV series any more. There were no calendars to be opened before Christmas, and snowfall just meant damn trouble.

This year I got it all back.

My girlfriend decorated her house with Christmas bits and bobs in December. Her 7-year old daughter watched the Christmas TV series each evening, and I joined in. I watched the child open her small calendar presents in the mornings and looking at her being excited about what she got. I made homemade beer like my mother used to do, and her mother before her. On the 21st I got out and bought a great but (rather expensive!) Christmas tree. The first time I have ever done so. I brought it back to my girlfriends house just like in the America movies. On the 22nd we decorated it, together. On the 24th we watched the classic TV series and movies together and laughed and smiled at the same cherished parts. I joined her her family for Christmas dinner, and I watched how Santa emerged from the forest with a small lamp to guide his way towards the house. I  saw suspense in the childrens faces when Santa came inside the hallway with all the presents at hand. I watched the children opening their presents in excitement and wonder. We finished the celebrations at four am in the morning.

Between Christmas and New Years, I got out and did the unthinkable. I bought a pair of cross country skis. The first skis I have bought since I was 15 years old. On New Years eve, in the daylight and between thick, snow covered trees, we went out on skis. My first time since I can’t even remember. We visited my parents for coffee and Christmas cookies, and watched the fireworks together on New Years eve. Not blotto with a half full champagne bottle in hand and a drunk mate puking in the bathrom. No, just us together and quite sober alongside one of her best friend and her family of two children and a her husband.

Christmas 2017 was the first time since I was a teenager that I’ve felt that special Christmas feeling.

Thank you for giving it back to me. I love you.

A Voice in the Wilderness

Dear Adria

You never existed. Well, that’s not true either. You existed as a zygote, splitting into four, five or six parts. And then you were no more. This happened about five or six times. Only in my mind you were more than this.

I often found myself picturing what you would look like, what we would be doing together when you were growing up, how happy my mom would be when I told her about you, and what you would be doing with your life. I imagined our relationship. Me as a father and you as my daughter.

In the end it turned out that you would be just one of the endless mix of cells that never ended up as anything more in this world. Life is a lottery, and you lost. Most do. Most of us will never be born at all. I could say you are just another star in the endless , vast universe that we will never discover as a human race, but I feel even that is a poor comparison to the chances of you being born and being a person. Such are the odds you had against you, and I will be stuck here trying to come to terms with how truly precious life is, even if that’s a cliché thing to say. Because it is. But it doesn’t make it less true. Life is a mystery to me. The odds so low I don’t think most people ever realize.

You know what’s also funny? For each time I went through this – I imagined you a bit different than the last failed attempt. But you were always a girl. It’s like I have imagined six slightly different versions of you. Hows that for parallell dimensions uh. Like I could take a sneak peak into the millions and millions of different ways my life would turn out – and how your life would turn out if you ended up being so lucky.

I used to miss you a lot. I used to imagine you being there with me. At times it was so real I could almost feel you brushing my shoulder. I once sat down watching TV when the sensation of you standing beside me was so real it was one of the heaviest and most heartfelt things I’ve ever experienced. I cried that time. Because I missed you. But I know I imagined it. It wasn’t real. I was in a depression.

I’m out of the depression, but I sometimes get the same sensation. However, it is never as strong. If I feel lonely in a crowd of parents and their children, I can still imagine you standing beside me. I can simply start to miss you or the feel of you, and you show up. You and me together. Like the characters of my books, it’s all a figment of my imagination. I know it’s not real, but you are much more real than my characters ever was even if I know them better than you.

I guess I have come to understand and respect why some can go mentally insane and start visualizing invisible children, animals or even dead parents. When I grew up, a man was walking around the area with a long leash with an invisible cow at the end of it. It was real to him. The desire and wish for it to be real is so strong that it actually becomes real in ones mind.

And that is you, and this is me. I am alive. You never were. You never got the chance. And you will never again get the chance, not with this specific mix of cells between two people that used to love each other. That doesn’t mean you don’t mean anything to me, because you do. You were the closest I came to be a father, and even if I do become one at some point, I will still miss you.

You.

Someone that never was, and never will be.

It doesn’t make it less real.

Not to me.

Merry Christmas.