Years ago, he would always try the latest men's high priced fragrance, often ones the kids and I got him for Christmas. But 10 or 15 years ago he gave up on those and stuck with Aqua Velva Ice Blue. Cheap and available at the grocery store. When he was here at the ranch he never shaved unless we were going to a friends' house for dinner or maybe to the Odeon Theater in Mason to hear Jimmie Dale Gilmore or Ruthie Foster sing. He always said when he retired he was going to grow a beard and a ponytail. A little bit redneck, a little bit hippie, the yin and yang of him.
He bought a new shaving kit a while back, camo patterned. I keep in in the closet. It has his hairbrush with the gray strands of his hair in it. The whole thing smells of Aqua Velva. Sometimes I open it and get a whiff of his fragrance; the only physical manifestation of him I have left. It makes me feel like I've been kicked in the stomach and I can't breathe. But still I do it anyway, seized, as Seth Walker says, by exquisite hurt.
And I wonder will all the rest of my days be like this, moments of happiness but always offset by these moments of intense pain. Will that be the yin and yang of me.
It's been almost four months and I've not made it through a day without tears yet, but maybe that's not a long time in dealing with loss. Rickie had this song on his iPod and played it for me a while back; said it was a good song.