I miss Joseph. It's been nearly four years since we last spoke. I keep finding evidence of him, but it's all been clues and leftovers and records of where he's been, not where he is. I suppose if he wanted to, he could find me easily enough. I found a letter he wrote to me on New Year's Eve, the last day of 2003 and I keep reading and re-reading it.

He said, "I think of you under so many lights, far beyond the horizon different shadows, further distances... you're still there in the distance the same amount of space.....no matter how far I walk, no matter which direction I go in..."

And he is gone. But still casts a shadow over my life. Those lines felt like such true things to me, but I wonder if they were more true for me than for him.

I'm not young anymore, and I'm not anywhere close to old. There's a lot of gray in my hair now, and I pay more in aches and soreness for staying out late and partying. I've got a comfortable, frustrating middle management job. My life is respectable, if not remarkable. I have a stable life that is mostly happy.

But on certain nights where everything feels still and quiet-- not with calmness but with a tension like something is waiting in the darkness to pounce-- and the noctiluminescent clouds overhead are thin and orange, I wonder if there will be a knock on my door, and Joseph will stand there, no longer young, not yet old, coming to coax me with words and plums dark as a bruise.

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