Joy disappeared first, but she went quietly, and so it was a year or more before I realized she’d gone off trail, and I resigned myself to the fact that she was lost forever.
(I felt lost forever.)
I did not find joy or salvation in a man.
But I couldn’t have found him without her. And this is the room I devoted to her safe return. This room was my yellow ribbon of faith, my “missing” poster, and the bowl of milk I left out during the longest winter nights when god would wake me early and I would pray, or try to.
She would visit in my delirium, leaving whisker-prints in milk and fairy dust.
This room became my altar and my haven, a living dreamcatcher who had a stronger backbone than I had at the time.
She is a permanent fixture in my life.
A reminder that I’m responsible for my own experience, and that if I seek joy, I’d better make her feel welcome.