I spent those last days in Portland biking down the esplanade no-handed, with Kid Cudi in my ear buds, hands clapping to the beat of Alive. I spent them bouldering at The Circuit and eating salads by the pound with vegan ranch dressing at Papa G’s. Each day for three weeks, as I prepared to bid that soggy city farewell, the sun shone bright, warm and true; trying to convince me that I had made the wrong choice.
I spent my last days in Portland with you. Eating pho at midnight. Destroying pint after pint of Coconut Bliss ice-cream. Hiking to the hot springs. Sneaking on to carnival rides. Documenting the city’s murals. Sharing books. Sharing early musical influences. Sharing nine mangoes in three days. Driving and singing and dancing and talking and laughing and sleeping. Sleeping while holding your hand. Sleeping while holding your body tight like my touch was the only thing anchoring you to this world. Sleeping and waking and dreaming with you, through each expiring moment, as the past rapidly accumulated beneath the weight of our vanishing future.
“Eliza,” you said in your sleep, eyes closed, “Why do I have to lose you?”
“I don’t know why,” I replied, confirming that I was, in fact, being lost.