Tonight I made a grilled cheese sandwich.
I slathered butter onto two slices of wheat bread – “slathered” being almost a lie because the butter was frozen and therefore hard to work and “wheat” being a truth because I am pretending to eat healthy. There was a huge hunk of cheese in the pantry but I couldn’t use it because it was bad. I didn’t think cheese could go bad. Isn’t cheese bad milk in the first place? Isn’t cheese like wine? The older it gets the better it is? Apparently not. The hunk of cheese was bad, it turned bad last May, so I had to use cheese from a bag, cheese that was meant to be pizza topping, cheese that ended up not fulfilling its purpose because it ended up between my slices of bread.
Jill didn’t want me to use the grilled cheese press because it was dirty. They tried cleaning it once, twice, three times but it still had gunk from the last time someone used it. But the gunk was invisible so I didn’t mind. Jill minds gunk – visible or not. So I used the gunky cheese press and she used the oven to make her sandwich.
My sandwich was ready faster than hers – probably because I chose not to spread tomato sauce on mine and probably because I’m impatient. My grilled cheese broke in two like it’s supposed to. It was still hot while I started to eat and it burned my tongue, naturally. I stood there, by the stairs, eating my grilled cheese, enjoying the mozzarella, waiting for Jill’s sandwich to be done. It wasn’t a big moment, it was a tiny moment when you think about it, but I felt so alive.
I felt so alive while you are dead.
I still can’t believe you’re dead.
Countless people have said no one should be surprised, that you had it coming, that you brought death upon yourself, that it was expected. I did not expect it. Because even as I watched you downward spiral again and again and again, I had hoped you’ll get better. That you’ll finally find love that wouldn’t lead to nights spent roaming in London wearing blood-spattered shoes. That you’ll find peace.
Maybe you have. Now.
My heart still hurts when I think of you, when I play your songs, when I watch your videos. It sounds stupid to be mourning for someone I’ve never met, someone I’ve never seen, someone I never really knew.
But I do not need a beehive and a drug habit to relate to you, a funny, stubborn girl who wanted mad passionate love, who chased after her desires with wild abandon. On some days, I am you.
Amy, Amy, Amy. Tonight I made a grilled cheese sandwich. Then I thought of you.