My first distinct memory of you is from our poetry workshop–you sat across the circle from me, and during one of our impromptu writing sessions, you began playing a Radiohead song from your phone, stating that listening to them is something you like to do when you write.
I remember thinking at the time that I only knew a handful of Radiohead songs and also who were you to be so bold?
And then you created such a deep love affair between Radiohead and myself that, to this day, I get chills whenever I listen to them, and none of my friends listen to them, so I have no one to go on about Thom Yorke to or listen to the entirety of In Rainbows with.
Friday nights were ours.
We would sit on your bed amidst the anti-capitalist artwork you created and the candlestick holder made from an empty brown beer bottle and drink Yuengling and smoke cigarette after cigarette until my hair was drenched in the scent of smoke and my lungs quaked.
The first time I did coke was after one of our group writing meetings, just a few blocks from your apartment. It was a sunny day in winter, and I drank a beer and did a single line and didn’t feel much.
That didn’t stop us though.
You’d play The King of Limbs from your laptop as we cut lines on the floral-print plastic tray. I’d tie my hair back, press the rolled up piece of paper to my nostril and inhale. We wouldn’t even go out. We just sat and let out tongues and teeth move at top speed.
I still have the Javas coffee card you used to cut the lines with. You told me I was great at cutting lines. I guess I can put that on my resume.
I fucking loved you. There’s no doubt in my mind. I fucking loved you. I loved your scratchy voice and how your hair cascaded down your back, how you deliberately let your black negligee glide off your shoulder as you sat with your thighs crossed over the mattress.
I loved you despite the dirt beneath your nails. I loved you when you were a crumpled heap in my arms, and I brought you dark chocolate and Tension Tamer tea.
Not long ago, while at work, I pressed my face into a shirt someone donated because it smelled exactly fucking like your apartment–like laundry detergent and lilies and cigarette smoke.
Hell, there was even one time when I was in your bathroom, and, after reading the back cover of your copy of Slaughterhouse Five, I plucked your discarded black thong from the tile floor and pressed it against my nose.
Because I’m a creep.
I’m a fucking weirdo.
Even at the time, I knew it was a tragic thing, to love you. To want you.
And I don’t even know how we split apart. It just happened. I do that to people eventually–I just inch further and further away. You called me up one evening and I drove over, and it was like old times. I cried about my mother. We saw each other again that summer, sat on a park bench outside and drank iced coffees, talked about our mothers.
I’m truly sorry I became cold. Seeing you at my new school was like seeing a ghost. Your voice no longer charmed me. I didn’t know what to say to you. And I’m sorry.
But I see that you’re happier than ever now. You seem so fucking happy and I’m so glad that you are and even though it makes me sad, I know if I had stayed in your life, you wouldn’t be this happy, because that’s just how the world ties things together. It’s the butterfly effect.
I hope someday you’ll call me up again. I know you won’t. It’s okay. I’ll think about calling you but I won’t ever do it.
People come and go.
God, you’re unreal. You always were.