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The dream came again last night, the one that has chased after me for decades now, it seems. I woke up gasping for air and sat behind closed doors, the cool tile soothing against my skin, letting the tears just fall. All the days and hours, all the time that has come and gone, and it is still those conversations I hold so fucking close to my heart. I do not know how to shake the memory, I do not know how to ever run far enough away from it, far enough to forget you. I always wanted the chance to say I was sorry, to say that if I had a time machine I would go back and decide differently. Perhaps I romanticize it, replaying those moments over and over like a broken record repeat, maybe if it was you standing there today, in front of me, it would not be the same. Maybe. I know I almost had a moment to find out not that long ago and I did not take it, but then again neither did you. Those close calls they were hints, a cadence and banter that never did leave, and I know you felt it, too. I sat in the parking lot this morning watching the birds land on barely blossomed flowers, thought about the art hanging inside and the story of a singer coming in and taking you by surprise. I wondered momentarily if the sight of me would do the same. But the doors were closed, locked, as I knew they would be, I do not even know why I was sitting there at all, just waiting for nothing, letting the tears fall, again. I can still see your eyes, feel your hands in my hair, hear your voice half-whispering “we’ll see each other soon.” It has never felt that way again, not with anyone, and I know that part of me went away when I went away, when I did not meet you by the ocean, when I did not trust that I was enough. All of it, the recalled memory of it, I know that it is because of watching a movie that reflects so much of how I felt, and still feel, and that in the process it fictionalizes some of this emotion. I am a writer and I know how that all works, I know how I can be moved. I also know that these feelings come at a time when I am feeling so terribly lost, facing choices and realities and the fucking numbers on a clock I did not set. I know that I do not want to think it is too late to feel that alive. Perhaps I need to feel it, this pain all over again, and try to mourn its loss. I know I need time to heal from all sorts of things, that I need time away, a space to breathe and find myself (again), and maybe a new start somewhere far from here. Maybe I return back to this place, to this gash in my heart, because I still feel so tethered to it, so stuck, using some fleeting moments as some kind of all-compassing definition of love. Do I even know what love is anymore? I know that I seem to be able to grant it to others, causing them to somehow feel I am the one and only, the waiting mate for their soul, and yet I still feel the disconnect, that big dark pool of nothing. I only felt it once, that kind of fused together something that is impossible to name, and I ran like hell away from it only to find myself clawing until my hands and heart are bleeding and raw, just trying to feel it again. In the dream I am connected again, standing there next to you, no words exchanged, nothing but enormous feeling and then your laugh as you say “well, there you are.”

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Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town :: Pearl Jam

I just want to scream hello,
my god its been so long,
never dreamed you’d return.
But now here you are,
and here I am
.”

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