A work of art, in progress: the Pablove mural on the Sunset Boulevard wall of Dangerbird HQ. Peter surprised the hell out of us with this massive memorial to Pablo. DB designer Rory Wilson created it; he also designed the Pablove logo, which Pablo loved.
We have one out of town guest left in our house—Paul Massa, the mayor of New Orleans. Actually, he's staying next door at James + Vanessa's house, but he only sleeps there. J + V gave us their house the day Pablo passed, and went to stay at a friend's house. They wanted us to have more room for friends and family to stay. An act of selflessness in the hour of our greatest need. Amazing how big their hearts are. Amazing how big the hearts of so so so many countless friends are.
Tomorrow morning, Paul leaves. I am freaking out. I don't want anyone to leave. Pablo left. Our little boy Pablo left 10 days ago. Our little boy Pablo left on June 27. June was last month. June is not this month. That is a change, a shift, a new thing since he left. This is enough change in our lives. I want everything to slow down. I want everyone to stay put. This is so so much more difficult than we ever thought it would be. The pain comes in big glassy sheets and it smashes at our feet and we can't move for fear—it always comes with fear—of shearing our feet. The emptiness is debilitating. The emptiness and the fear and the pain are like sleeping underwater. I always felt that way sleeping with Pablo at CHLA. Never able to actually sleep, I always came up for air, worried about the beeps and bings of the machines, always waking up to monitor the rise and fall of Pablo's chest. I always thought of that as sleeping underwater. And now I realize it was a prime foreshadowing of this new era.
I don't want anyone else to leave us. I know you have lives. But I want everyone to stay right where they are when it comes to the Pablog and our electronic ultramodern relationship. So there's no more change in our world. Not for a while. I promise I will keep writing. Always intended to. And I won't always be freaking out like I am now. I want to keep this going, to continue the spirit and the soul of Pablo. I have a need to communicate what's going on with Jo Ann and Grady and I. Our experience. Our journey. I will write about the positive stuff too. When it happens, when it comes, I will write it.
This plea may be without merit. You never said you were leaving. But Paul leaving means that you might leave. And if you leave, and we lose this connection and your feedback through blog comments and emails and text messages and Facebook messages, the pain is going to get deeper and hotter and more intense. You can see why we don't want to be in more pain, or lose our community connection. It has become a very, very strong lifeline for us. It's what community is about.
Tonight, our house is quiet. For the first time in exactly two weeks, our house is quiet. At this time two weeks ago, Pablo had played all afternoon, and was asleep in our bed, in his usual place between us. At this time two weeks ago, we thought Pablo would live forever. We never spoke about it, but I know that Jo Ann and I put a huge emphasis on Pablo making it to his sixth birthday. That was two days before two weeks ago today. Two days after he was running and running and running in the park with his friends celebrating his birthday, he was at the beginning of the end of his life. There was no run-up, no warning. We were in the midst of life. Pablo coughed. And then....
Elliott Smith wrote a song called 'Everything Means Nothing To Me.' Have no capacity to remember or care what the song is about. I am only concerned with pirating the title to describe our condition in the Castelaz / Thrailkill / Gallagher family. Pablo, he meant everything to us. And he has gone away. Nothing means anything to any of us without Pablo. Our hearts are broken. Worse, our hearts are useless. We walk upstairs in the morning and fling ourselves into the eighth, ninth, tenth day since Pablo's passing, and we have no idea why. Why are we here? What are we flinging toward? Where is our little boy and his wondrous symphony of noises and words and gestures and aims and desires? Where? In a flash he was gone. I keep thinking of things I want to say to him, one last time. I keep wanting to hold his hand, one last time. I keep wanting to feel him in my arms, too tired to walk, one last time. We all feel this way. Can you blame us?
Grady noted that just walking in the front door, our house is completely different. He noted that he missed knowing that Pablo would be right inside the door waiting to see who was coming in. Or right in the TV room, 'watching something,' as he liked to say, almost as an apology for loving TV. Or chasing up his big brother to, as he always stated in the simplest, basest term, 'play.' I can tell you, Pablo didn't care what Grady might play with him. He just wanted to play with him.
And I can tell you, we miss Pablo and we are in the glassy, frozen, vacuous, immense marsh of grief. I could never accurately or completely describe it to you. This is just me shooting off a spiritual flare.