Excuses, Excuses

by Johnny Crowder

PHOTO BY KRISTI DILALLO

PHOTO BY KRISTI DILALLO

February 2

I know you said you didn’t want me stopping by every day and that I needed to move on but I had to come visit today because I wrote you another letter and bought you some new flowers and I didn’t want them to sit at my house or anything and besides I missed you.

Tomorrow I probably won’t have time anyway which is good because I need to take a break like you said and besides I have a ton of work to do and I’ve been spending so much on gas just to get out there every day anyway so hopefully tomorrow will be day one of “moving on”.

I mean that isn’t to say that I don’t want to see you tomorrow because I do I really do but I’m trying to do what you said because I know you wouldn’t want me living like this but it’s just that it’s so hard to go a whole day without seeing you but I have to get used to it I guess because I can’t spend my whole life standing at your headstone wishing I was sleeping next to you.


February 3

I know I said I wouldn’t come visit today but I did I had to just because it was the third and well you know I couldn’t stay at home on the third (I put your present next to the flowers I brought yesterday I hope you like it) but I mean it tomorrow I’m for sure taking a break like you told me to I know I have to stop sometime but today didn’t feel right so tomorrow is the start of me looking forward I promise I’m going to get better I just need a little more time I hope you understand I’m just weak.


February 5

Is this the part where I say goodbye for good?

Is this the part where I try not to cry?

Is this the part where I choke and sit back down, crumpled notes outlining your eulogy still in my pocket?

Is this the part where I wish you could hear the beating of my heart and the impact of my tears as they crash onto the top of your casket?

Is this the part where I drive home in the rain?

Where I stare into the headlights of other cars, wishing it were me in that box?

Is this the part where I sit at home alone with your photo in one hand and a gun in the other, hoping I’ll meet you there?

I’m not sure what takes more courage: living on in misery or meeting you there.


February 6

I didn’t come see you today.

It was much harder than I thought because you were still on my mind the entire day no matter what I was doing or where I was going I was always thinking of you but aren’t you proud of me? I’m taking a break just like you told me to.

Sometimes I still pick up my phone to call you and I forget that you’re not here anymore so today I deleted your number so I’m not tempted to call you I hope you’re not mad at me but I still know it by heart though I know the tone each number makes and the song it makes when I press them in order. I wish I didn’t.

Tomorrow I’ll come visit though because it rained and I want to check on the flowers I mean I don’t have to I can stop coming whenever I want but since I didn’t come today I should probably come tomorrow you know just to check up on them and also today was just truly hard for me without you here.


Johnny Crowder has been writing for nine years, taking mountains of influence from his personal struggles with mental illness. Being productive and exercising creative liberty with his work has allowed him to channel debilitating mental health conditions into something healthy and valuable.