Beware the Dog
2003-09-11 || Your Face On My Back
Dear My Past.

I miss you. Which makes sense, because you are the past. Not the present and apparently, not the future. But that is mine � for me to deal with.

The weather is clear. The air is lighter and heavier in a way. It�s turning into Fall in Georgia. I am waiting for the crunchy leaves. Raking and cleaning the driveway. Cooler, drier air. As I drive down the street with my dinky sun-roof open, listening to the Allman Brothers and any other song that we used to listen to together, I am nostalgic.

Missing you. Wishing that we were still together. Me in the passenger seat, cross-legged � what we used to call Indian-Style. You driving, not knowing that it was you leading the way. I would have gone wherever you had wanted for me to go. Sometimes I imagine that I still would.

Cigarettes and Beer. When I smell them I wish that you were here. Bars and ashtrays remind me of you. So do parks and dread-locked white kids wanting to be hippies. Wanting to have something to believe in. I wanted to also. Maybe I still do.

I hope that you still feel the same way � smell the same way.

I am lonely without you.

I wonder, sometimes, if I should have made different choices. If I had, would you be here with me now? Would we be swinging on swings on a playground were we aren�t allowed? Would we be listening to music? Would you still be running away from me no matter how much I chased?

I miss the smell of horse noses. Sweet and dirty. Carrots and horse manure. Feeling safe and barefoot � walking on gravel, riding bareback in the barn. No bridle, rain beating on the roof of the stables. Dirty feet and baths that leave the water muddy.

If I hadn�t left when I turned 13, would I still be there now?

I regret not taking the time in college � Did I really think that I was so un-loveable? Didn�t I notice G-d and connection in the back drop behind Ford �. In the view from the Chicken Campus? In the cracked buildings and sinking parking lots?

I miss learning. I wish that there was more algebra in my head. I miss learning from you.

I miss the options that I had � the ones that look different and better now that I am safer � more distanced . older. Safer.

In my mind, when I tell myself stories, because you are no longer there to share them with me, you will be in them. With your smile. And your voice.

I look at the pictures and remember the stories, the way that I felt - that I feel - when I see you. I hope that it was not for nothing.

I hope that you know and remember how much I love my past. How special you are to me.

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