I’ve been thinking about how much of me is made of other people.
There are phrases I’ve acquired, jokes I tell like they’re my own, even songs I sing because of friends that I’ve lost over the years. This (blog? poem? word vomit?) is for those people. You may not know it, but you’ll always be with me.
You sent me a song and then you broke my heart, but those lyrics still ring in my ears. Our table in the coffee shop now seats only me, but I remember your order and how your fingers curled around the cup. I can’t stand to see your face, but my heart skips a beat when a blue car goes by, and I’m watching The Twilight Zone in the dark. I thank you for the conversations and the newfound caution. Maybe it will serve me well.
I’m still waiting for your letter in my mailbox; a letter that may never come. I don’t know why we don’t talk but I do know that every aria reminds me of you. I never liked those sandals anyway, but now they hurt my heart instead of my feet. I often wonder how your plants are doing–you would be disappointed to hear how mine have fared. I still have the program from that musical we saw, and the doodles on each of your envelopes.
Our friendship was a whirlwind, flying and fleeting. The wreckage of our lives taught me about loyalty and confidence, and even though we haven’t been in the same room in months, some of the best moments of my life were spent with you. We cried with fast food workers and ate countless lunches together, and our photo booth pictures have their own page in my scrapbook. I miss the highs, but without the lows our roller coaster would not have been such a thrill.
You. You taught me to be human, in ways you can’t possibly understand. I used to rely so heavily on a screen, but you made conversation so… effortless. Your judgement was a mirror, and without you I never would have woken up from who I used to be. I can’t let myself love you anymore, and I know you never loved me, but maybe one day I will give you all of the poems that I can’t seem to stop writing.
Every time I look in the mirror, I see the note you wrote me in sophomore year taped in the corner. Our shared stubbornness pushed us apart, but you left footprints all over my mind. Almost every thing about me from my favorite hat to my choice of pen is a knockoff version of you. I still have your book on my bookshelf. I don’t know if you’ll ever get it back.
I could go on. Forever and ever. But on the off-chance that my makers are reading this, I want to say thank you. I don’t wish that things were different. Maybe I used to, but not anymore. Our paths intersected, but if we stopped there forever, we both would never get to our destinations. But I am inexplicably grateful for the journey, and the way it has shaped me.