Two years ago today I ate a bunch of mushrooms, dressed up in a skeleton costume, pretended to be dead, and asked my girlfriend to do a fake wake for me as a lark. She did such an incredible job I sat up out of my coffin and asked her to marry me. Last year, when Halloween ended up being so cold the facility we were to have our wedding at closed and refunded our money, we had a three day scramble to make our 2 bedroom tiny yard home hospitable and spooky enough to handle 40 family members at zero degrees. It was hard, haphazard, scary in a social anxiety & family nostalgia/pain sense, and then she walked out onto our altar space and it took my breath away and obliterated what little doubt I had left about us, and all the fears I’d been too bad of a person if I could have earned my way to that moment with her. I make missteps galore and I know I do hurtful things still and she gently corrects and comforts me and teaches me how to be there for her in better ways by relentlessly demonstrating being present for those around her. We ugly cry into each other instead of outward now, we ritually guide our past and future selves into better collusion with our now selves. On a stormed tossed sea far from ports, we learned it’s a ghost ship and we are our captain and our crew and other ships fear and tremble when they see our green lights through the fog because they know we are coming for them with a love for a death that is a love beyond death, and a growing intensity of mission for a monomaniacal vision of courageous self-sacrifice to our collective tombwomb. She taught me how to care about things in a way that having a child couldn’t teach me, in a way that is teaching my child how badly I want to learn how to care. What parts of fear and dreams and hope and hate are proper and what parts are pathological, how to tease apart the ways in which love and sex and intimacy where accidentally knitted together badly for both of us. It hurts for weeks now when I cause her to feel shame, even when it was infinitesimal for her. I am filled to bursting for weeks now when she bestows upon me a momentary blast of full eye contact. I just woke her up with sobbing about how much I am thankful for her entire existence and even right now she is leveling up my feelings for her and loving the hurt parts and the evil out of me.