I dreamt of Dario last night.
We sat together in a forest clearing at the dead of night, at a round wooden table. His face was illuminated by the glow of my computer, which he used to check his facebook page, just like I did, many times over in the days after he died.
There he was, reading the tributes people have left, smiling at some, laughing at others. Sometimes saying: "I didn't even remember I 'ad 'im as a friend."
It was the most normal thing in the world.
"I can't believe you're stuck with picture of you in your chef's uniform kissing the pig's head as your profile picture," I told him. And amazingly, we both laughed.
It felt so good to be laughing with him again.
I tried to ask what things were like for him now. But his face clouded over. He wouldn't talk to me about it.
"But I miss you so much," I told him. "Won't you just tell me how you are? How are you coping with all this?"
"I'm gone, tesoro," he said. "I'm fine, you gotta let it go. Life goes on. How are you coping with this? That's what you gotta ask."
Evetything else is just fragments. My hands on the table, engagement ring sparkling in the moonlight. Birds in the trees, watching and waiting. "You have to go soon, don't you?" and "this isn't real, is it?"
How are you supposed to cope with the end? When it grabs you by the hair at strange moments during the day and pulls so spitefully?
I've shut it out of my life for so long. It never even occured to me till recently, that all this is so very temporary.
Trying to live with it, though it sits badly- like co-existing with a new flatmate you instantly take a dislike to.
Just because bad things happen doesn't mean they'll happen to me, or the people I love. But saying that is easier to believe it.
But I must. A life lived in fear is not much to shout about.
Because life does go on. And when you have bad dreams you wake up and put them away. Wash them down the plughole with the shower water.
Get dressed, take the dog out as normal, and feel the warming light of the morning sun on your face. Look at the sky- is it not more beautiful because he is up there somewhere?
And if you're lucky, stop in front of a tree, and evesdrop on an unseen bird heralding the coming of the new day. A sweet sound, a music far purer than man can ever make with his machines.
Because life goes on, and today everything feels different.
Or at least that's what you want to believe.