Without her

I’m quitting my job, almost certainly — but I’m not quite certain. I need to talk it over with Stephanie first, which is not an option, damn it.

If she was here, she’d cut through my blather and confusion, she’d see the pros and cons more clearly than me, she’d bring up consequences I haven’t considered, whittle away all my piffle and nonsense, leave only the essential facts, and then she’d back off and let me come to a sensible determination. And whatever I decided, she’d be on my side, and she’d show me how to do it more eloquently.

Without her, I’m the king of bad decisions. Every major choice in my life has been either arguably foolish or utterly dumbshit. The only exception was marrying Steph. She was exceptional.

Without Stephanie to talk with, I try to hear what she’s not here to say. In any little conversation, her voice comes through clearly. In the mid-sized conversations, I can guess the gist. But in all our years together, whenever we talked about serious things I never knew what she was going to say. All I knew was, it was gonna be smart so I always listened.

Without her, I can’t write her half of the dialogue. So … all I can do is what I’ve done with every sticky situation since she’s been gone. Pinch my nose, shut my eyes, and jump into the water. Here goes.