Everything That's Never Said

By Ablo Dušan

I realized on my fiftieth birthday I’ve been an adult significantly longer than I have a child.

And that’s a very upsetting reality. Because I liked living with my parents,

and in the afternoons when they’d bring me to the zoo, and to get ice cream,

and I’d like to be an astronaut.

And late at night past my bedtime, they’d carry my tired body into my bed, and I’d let them kiss me on the forehead. And I’d have happy adventures with my brother just as innocent as he had ever been.

I miss those days so much,

but someday I realized people die.

Some day my dad would, then my mom, then me. So life couldn’t be chocolate ice cream every day, and being tucked in by the two people you loved more than anyone.

And I went to school and I stopped going to the zoo, and when I got my scores back to see I got C’s I realized I couldn’t be an astronaut. I tried my best and enjoyed my youth,

but when I really had to say goodbye to my parents, I was so alone, more than ever

*quick transition*

and you need to go to your sales job in the morning so you can’t go to the zoo, and your friends are gone, and there’s no one to tuck you in. It makes you feel empty, and scared, and angry, that the time has gone. But you wake up, and go to that job selling Car Insurance, and you wake up and look in the mirror and become uncomfortable, and sad, and small, and alone, and you can’t bear it any longer, because you hate it, and you’ve had to put up with it for four years, and so you meet a girl when you turn twenty-nine, alone at a bar with and say “She has my mother’s eye” and it comforts you, because the memory is all you have, and you wish you had more time with mom and dad, but now your girl’s pregnant, and the realization that I’m gonna be the daddy to a little boy fills you up because you get to see the zoo again, and you sigh with relief that your having your child when your 30, so he won’t have to cry in bed when he’s 10 knowing that his mom and dad aren’t gonna die fifteen years later, and thank god he won’t have to be 25 alone with no one, crying every night for a year until crying to childhood photos feels more like self-pity then mourning.

And where did Eli go, he wanted to become a firefighter, but he OD’d when he was 22, and I couldn’t even say goodbye when he was in the hospital, Mom had to call when I was in college, so I was so wrapped up in my dumb paper that I missed the two first calls about my own brother's death, and when I picked up and realized that Eli was gone for good and that the last time I told him I loved him was when I was twelve, and the last time we spoke I was 20. I didn’t, that's why I so desperately tell you not to do drugs because I can’t tell Eli not to.

I just wanted to-

I went to the zoo the day after he died. And I had chocolate ice cream, and it filled me with nostalgia, and thank god I had you. Because I needed that zoo, and that ice cream, and your mother's eyes


But when your mom died, when god the sick bastard took her from me, those eyes are gone, and the zoo is closed and you went off to college. I went back to my bed, feeling old and alone, feeling like the feeling of being loved was stripped from you.

A feeling that you never get used to.

And for the first time in 20 years, I cried, and I can’t stop.

And I loved her, I did, and all I ever wanted was to not feel alone.