The Prompt About Missing


The writing prompt asked what I will miss when I die. I did this one last year, and it was really depressing. Hopefully this one is better.

What I will miss when I die.

I will miss the way my feet slip into my brown flip-flops, the soft rubber clapping with the ground underneath me. The way I walk with confidence, as if I own the place. When I die, I will miss the feeling that the ground is mine to walk upon, that there is something here I can claim. Like the way his voice laughs into my ear, the chortles that tell me he has an appreciation for what I just said.

I will miss the taste of iced americanos with a tablespoon of cream. That earthy taste cut with a bit of a cloud, how the liquid turns from dark brown to a soft tan. I will miss the color of trees, how they each look a little ashy yet vibrant with life. Like my mother, like how even at sixty-one she still vibrates with life, and love. And I will miss her smile, the way she always laughs when she doesn’t know what else to say.

When I die I will miss the way this cigarette pokes out of my lips when I type. My daily ritual of smoking and writing, the way I breath in the toxins and exhale through my fingers what memories have been building up inside. I will miss the sound and feel of language on my tongue, how I can speak what I see, can taste the words as they rise up inside of me.

And there are the runs I go on through the trails in the mountains, the way the dirt rustles up to my ankles with each step. The showers after each run I will also miss, how the hot water runs down my naked flesh. Steam fills the bathroom, expands in the air with the smell of water and sweet soap. I will also miss the scent of laundry, of clothes spinning around themselves.

When I die I will miss the excitement of seeing an email in my inbox that is a response to a piece of writing I have submitted. Whether it is an acceptance or rejection, I will miss the feeling of knowing that someone, somewhere is reading the words I have put out into the world. Which will also make me miss the feeling of creating, of typing or writing by hand, of seeing my thoughts as they appear before me.

I will miss the feeling of rocks underneath my hands, or even the fake rocks as I climb around the gym. The sense of my arms stretching, then pulling me up higher. Perhaps it is simply the sense that I have this body, this skin wrapped taught around bones, muscle, and fat that I will miss. This body that has brought my through the world, that gives me the senses to experience all that is around me.

I will miss the cliché sight of sunsets when I die. How is one not supposed to miss the pink turning purple of the sky? And I will miss the awe at all that the world has offered for me to see, even the sight of a squirrel in that alley in Minneapolis, the one that held a stale bagel between its sharp little claws and still managed to hop up onto the tall concrete wall. When I die I will miss looking at animals, any animal, any being that reminds me I am not alone in this world. That will also make me miss the stories we tell with our bodies, the language that seeps out through our pores.

When I die I will miss the way you look at me with wonder, wanting to understand what is going on inside of my brain. And I will miss the joke my friend told about hearse that sat parked across the street from us while we smoked outside in the rain. Is that for one of us? I will miss how we recount our lives by thinking about the objects of our childhood, the Legos that filled our time, even if we didn’t understand what we were supposed to create with them.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Scott said,

    Bravo… what a great essay. It gets me to thinking… What will I miss… when I die…

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