OK

He said, "Don’t fucking blog about this."

Maybe he was talking to his friend with her own blog. She’s the one who got me started.

Maybe he meant, Don’t put this on your stupid Facebook page. He hated Facebook.  All his friends were always trying to get him to sign up for Facebook. He never did.

I can imagine what he meant. Don’t start quoting philosophers and trying to make some big meaning-of-life point about it. Don’t turn him into a saint.

Maybe he was talking to me. Don’t put this on Daily Kos.  Even though he was so proud of me.  He was still boasting to his friends, sending links to my essays, reading everything I wrote, even commenting to my critics. A few months ago, he told someone to "Get the fuck up outta Mouse's grill."

He was always protecting me, even with his very last words.

Don’t fucking blog about this.  But what is "this"?  His life?  His death?  Don’t share his last words? Don’t talk about him at 6, at 16, at 36?

But he doesn’t get a vote. I’ve tried to honor him, to do as he asked of me, to ask myself, in every moment his note didn’t address, "Well, what do you want me to do about this?"  

It doesn’t matter. He’s dead.

He had so many names. Scott. Scottie. Scooter. Homeslice. Tio Scott. Uncle Scott.

I called him none of those things. I called him Mac. Always Mac. I called him Mac, and he called me Mouse, and that’s who we were -- Mac and Mouse. We had a theme song and a dance and everything.

He hated Reagan. I mean, he hated Reagan. In 1984, he went to a Reagan rally in Simi Valley -- they still call it Reagan country, even today. He got hold of a "California hearts Reagan" sign and crossed out the heart with the international symbol for no. And he made his way to the front of the crowd, carrying that sign, trying to get close enough so that son of a bitch Reagan would see that there was at least one disgruntled teen in California who did not heart Reagan.

The Reagan Hitler youth -– that’s what he called them -– didn’t take too kindly to the sign. There was, well, a scuffle. The local news interviewed him and identified him as a Mondale supporter. But he wasn’t that either. He hated all the politicians.  

He could recite not just lines from movies but entire monologues. Say the words "fast ship" to him, and he’d immediately launch into Han Solo’s speech about the Millennium Falcon. Is it a fast ship? It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

He never forgave George Lucas for his revisionist history. Han shot first, goddamnit.  

He was generous to a fault. Usually, when people say that, it’s an empty cliché, but it was true for him. He gave so much of himself to others, at the expense of what he wanted for himself. He gave and gave and gave -– to his family, his friends, me. He gave so much, more than he had to give. He could never say no.

He was an excellent shot. He made incredible pies. He could look at the sky and know exactly what time it was, within 10 minutes. He was also exceptionally good at Harper’s Index. I’d read him the facts, and he’d guess the numbers. He was very good at that.

When I was still a college student, he painted my toenails for me. One day, one of my roommates made a face, a "Dude, you’re painting her toenails?" face, and he just looked up and said, "You master this, dude, and you will always get laid."

He loved Teddy Roosevelt and recited extended portions of "The Man in the Arena" to himself.  It was his mantra.

He loved the Dark Knight.

He loved Wolverine.

He thought Superman was a fag.

He was a beautiful writer. He worked hard at it. He always knew where to put the commas.

His favorite word was "defenestrate." He loved that there is a word that means to throw someone out of a window.

We once spent an entire Saturday morning in bed giggling as we named every onomatopoeia we could think of. For hours.

We had our own language. So many words and phrases, some borrowed from movies, and some just our own.

He was also tone deaf. I mean, really tone deaf. He’d sing a song to me, and I’d say, "You know that’s not how it sounds, right?" He didn’t care. He loved singing anyway.

He once met Jello Biafra. We were at an anti-war rally in Golden Gate Park in 2002, and Jello spoke, and afterwards, he was just standing there, so Scott went up to Jello and said, "You’re the reason I made it through high school."

One night, when he was fast asleep, he pulled me close to him and growled -– not said, but growled -– "I love you and you’re MINE."

He could do a perfect imitation of my mother.

He did bad things. He wasn’t perfect. He made mistakes; some small, some huge.  Destroying his marriage, he said, was the most devastating thing he ever did.

He missed me constantly, he said. I missed him too. I will miss him always.

"I want you to be able to get on with your life," he said. I was trying. I was doing everything I could to get on with my life because I had no choice. I was starting over because I’d already mourned the death of our marriage.

But never him. I never wanted to lose him. He was always there. I still wanted to share with him the good things that happened. I still wanted him to be a part of my life. Just because we couldn’t make our marriage work didn’t mean we didn’t love each other and want the best for each other. Always.

We were trying. Together. We never stopped needing each other. We never stopped loving the sound of each other’s laughter. When good things happened, he was the one I had to tell. He was the first one I called when the email from Markos came asking me to be a featured writer. His response? "What the hell took them so long?"

We were always talking about how to be friends to each other, to love each other still, even after our marriage. There is a dark comfort in knowing that we will never be divorced. I will never be his ex-wife. In the end, we couldn’t end our marriage after all. I will always be his wife.

Don’t fucking blog about this?

I told him only a few months ago that I was going to write something personal. I wasn’t sure yet what it would be, but I felt the need to write about the past year of my life, about all that had changed, all the ways I had changed, the journey I had taken, continue to take.

I was so careful. Always, I wanted to protect him. I promised I would not talk about the details of our marriage. We had agreed, he and I, that we would not demonize each other –- not to our friends, not to our families, and certainly not on the internet.

It hurt him anyway. He wouldn’t explain why. Maybe it was his realization that I was moving forward. Maybe it was his knowledge of the pain I had suffered to get to that point. Maybe he read between the lines, understood more than I’d intended to imply.

Who knows? He can’t explain it now.

I know this:

He wasn’t perfect. No one is. He tried, though. He tried so hard to be perfect. He agonized over every mistake, large and small. It always bothered him that he’d telegraphed his plans to propose to me. It’s hard to fool someone you’ve lived with for five years, and he was never as good at keeping his secrets as he thought. I knew a lot of his secrets. More than he realized.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that his letter contained a typo. Such a mistake would haunt him all the days of his life. Except there are no more days.

Don’t fucking blog about this. That’s what he asked. Don’t tell this story. Don’t remember. Don’t mourn. Don’t try to put into words the laughter, the love, the tears, the everything.

I’m a writer; he knows that. It’s what I do. It’s what I need to do. To tell the story of his life, or at least the life I knew. I can’t really tell the whole story of his life. I can recite memories. I can describe the tiny details of nothing more than what made me smile.

I can talk about how I loved him. How he loved me. How his final thoughts were of me, of protecting me, of forgiving me, of loving me, always. He couldn’t find the words while he was still alive. He just couldn’t do it. Thoughts were confused; the words came out all wrong.

In the end, he was clear. He knew. He found the words. And he knew I would understand them, every single one. I hope that at least that brought him some peace, knowing he had finally found the words.

Don’t fucking blog about this?

So many of us are grieving. He knew he was loved, but he didn’t see just how much it would hurt us. He wouldn’t have wanted us to hurt so much. We are aching so much that we cannot even comfort each other. We want to hurt each other because we cannot hurt him. He is not here to feel the blows, hear the words of anger. Such anger. And we are all so angry. He robbed us of him, and we are so, so angry.

We can’t even turn to each other. Might as well turn to that anonymous comfort of the internet, sending out words he’ll never read, trying to put it out there just to get it out of our hearts, where it aches so terribly.

Don’t fucking blog about this?

Too late, Mac. Too late.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Sat May 22, 2010 at 08:26 AM PDT.

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