Monday, June 06, 2005

I've been writing letters to you in my head for years, leaving notes on sugar packets and straw wrappers and paper placemats sown broadcast across the country. I've been dialing your number for so long that I'd probably forget who you were if you picked up the other end.

There were two times that I made a pact with myself to put you firmly out of my head. The first was a chilly night in late 2000, cleaning up blood that was pouring from the head of a boy I'd only met a few hours before. Once we'd packed him off to the hospital and cleaned up whatever there was left of Chase that could be soaked up with a towel I took a slow walk and informed an alligator that I couldn't think about you anymore because you pressed at the back of my eyeballs. The alligator didn't understand, pointing out that you'd never met Chase and had in fact neither been seen or heard from in months. I told it that was the point. I didn't want to ever be a party hat again.

I've been to the moon a million and fifteen times without you. A million and fifteen, precisely.

But you reappeared, didn't you, a few years later? Just when things were crumbling to dust? I left town and decided firmly at a diner in lower Indiana that I was moving cross-country to read books and not think of you. Again.

At this point, of course, I give up. You've made it perfectly clear that you won't be un-thought. But I'm not going to let you win, because thought of or not I'll still be making it to and from the moon a million more times without you.

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