Dear San Diego,
I stand by the intersection at night. Watch the rigs and cars whip by. Think of her.
You don't really know a person until they're gone. It's the catch of mortality.
You can stand next to a rained out highway looking for glimpses of them, but you can never have them back.
Puddles in the pavement, low clouds shuffling down the mountains as if converging on some decisive battle. Within you the cacophony of it. Only silence beyond.
In 2006 I drove over sixteen hundred miles to this place. I was looking for somewhere to hide but instead found the shell of someone. And in the years that followed I became her wall.
The woman that had left me, the reason I'd driven those sixteen hundred miles, was, ironically, far more troubled than Parker in many ways.
Go out, drink, do coke, flirt, maybe more, home at five. It's socially acceptable to want to be nineteen every weekend, or even four days in a row, and an easy thing to justify if everyone around you thinks it's fantastic. The fact that you're an embarrassment doesn't factor into it because you're "living your life".
Schizophrenics, on the other hand, wander through unknown wildernesses of uncontrollable paranoia, insomnia, emotionlessness, rage, the loss of reality and the presence of foreign influences only recognizable to them - and on and on.
Having lived through it with someone, it's certainly not as "attractive" as after work dinners, drinking and doing bumps in the bathroom with your boss's wife.
In Parker's case, given her medication, she would have periods of clarity in which depression or mania were prevalent but everything else faded somewhat. It was when she'd transition between the two that she'd take a pen to the walls convinced she could solve the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture in twenty four hours.
For all I know she did and I unknowingly Windexed it away.
After my ex got her breasts done my brother used to say that she had a great personality but only 20% of it could talk. I used to get pretty pissed when he'd say it. Truth is, it's a wasted metaphor when you're confronted with someone who rightly could have been one of the greatest mathematicians of their time had they not been sideswiped by a hurricane of psychosis.
So, for better or worse, I spend part of every night standing by the intersection looking for something.
Proof of life.
Proof of mine.