It’s curious to see pictures of you when you were a teenager with braces. An unexpected thing circumstances have given me is a composite of your family history, something that I never thought would happen when we met that inglorious day three years ago. Your mother greets me and departs with warmth— hugs and soft rubs on the shoulder. And as I sit in your parents’ home during our breaks in the ministry, eating bananas or whatever your mom doles out to us, I imagine the dark-haired little boy I see in the photographs— whom you used to be— running up and down those halls, loving life then just as much as we know you do now.
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While my parents played bid whist, I slipped on some comfortable shoes and wandered Sunday, basking in the sun and savouring the sweet air. Music blaring, legs pleasantly aching, I walked around and took in my little portion of the world, urban and yet empty, every other building, field or car vacant. Detroit looks empty zooming by in a car, but the desertion is more palpable on foot. With the barriers of speed and Plexiglases windows gone, the fact that the whole town seems to be a part of an “Everything Must Go!” sale is starkly apparent. I’ve been spending my evenings walking through vacant lots with tall grass, lying under shady trees, pounding pavement and swinging on swings, carefree; my skirt blew in the wind, my keys jangled on my belt loop, my head floated to the clouds. I grabbed a large stick from an abandoned house and walked until I lost daylight. The semblance of inner peace I gain from walking is the reason why I think this is the beginning of something beautiful and consistent.
Listening to the meeting was difficult because I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I like how you pay attention to me, even though I’m awkward, and when I speak in banter, you have the response to my call.When you came to me with the microphone, all I could do was inhale your essence deeply and feel the longing stir inside me once again. And I’m not ignoring you when I walk past with downcast eyes; I’m just trying to sort out my feelings, my thoughts towards you. I don’t really know what they are yet, but I’d like to know, so very much. I wish I could tell you just how difficult this is for me; the fact that I’m even contemplating this at all, over and over, means that you’re special, that you just have that… you just have that something. I hope I have that “something” to you too.
Pushing up all dates to July leaves it open that my departure may be peaceful. Don’t ruin it with your passive-aggressiveness, as usual.
I spend many nights listening to jazz and the things that swirl around in my heart. My days are broken— early sprinting around the house, three hour siestas and afternoons spent running my mother’s errands. My evenings and late nights are mostly quiet affairs of coiffing my hair, reading and rereading books and contemplating the order of things. I worry that people find me pedantic or characterless because I don’t talk much anymore, and when I do, it never comes out quite the right way. I’m awkwardly scholastic, retiring, shy but loyal, hopeful about the future but nihilistic about the present. I spend my life surrounded by people but still mired in a strange isolationism. Torn about love, disinterested in normal work, my life has always been poised on the edge, perpetually off-kilter. I’m loved but perennially misunderstood.
I wish I were different so I wouldn’t have nights like tonight where it all seems too difficult to carry on.