Brad Knetl: Counting Seconds

Brad Knetl in my back yard in 2011

58 days. 1,392 hours. 83,520 minutes. 5,011,200 seconds.

Not good numbers.

But important ones.

Chronology and arithmetic—like geography—have a certain eloquence to them. 58 days ago, my best friend—all 33 years, two months, one week, one day, 13 hours, and approximately 25 minutes of him—stopped. The time in which he had been living was now bounded at both ends. Infinite potential rendered finite. A life reduced to the past tense.

I used to measure the time since his death in seconds. I remember that first second. It was the worst. The ones after were pretty bad to. For a couple days the numbers were small enough that I could work out how many seconds he'd been gone in my head. When the numbers got larger, I switched to minutes. Then it was hours. Now it's days and weeks.

The 58 days I've spent without Brad weigh more heavily on me than the 25 years we spent together. The pain of his loss overwhelms the joy I took in his living. That's wrong. I know it's wrong. But I can't do anything about it. Time is the only medicine. And it is very bitter.

James Sinks

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