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When I look at the collage
that I have been building and think, goodness, would you look at that,
all of this has been me and none of it is anymore, and I want to know what happened to it all.
What happened to that girl, and where did that boy end up, and excuse me but has anyone seen that shirt that I am wearing in this one, because it really was a favorite, or that car, do you remember that car and everything that happened inside those four doors with the windows rolled up, goodness goodness they are all gone.
Maybe this is why I love photos instead of people, memories and past tenses and the details captured in freeze frame and I can hang it on my wall and I can put it in a book and I can keep it and I can look back and I can remember, but not relive.
That house and the winter I spent in it, the nights I crashed on the floor, the night, singular, that I crashed right there on the front lawn, the people that filled it and the people that will never be in it again, the Halloween party and then the Christmas party, and all the mornings I went to work still half drunk from the night before, here I am, here I am, here I am, snap snap snap, who was the eye behind this angle?
That car and the midnight drives to nowhere and the hazy 2 a.m. revalations made somewhere on a country road that I'll never travel again, the stories I used to tell, the books I could have written, would you look at that smile, it's as close as I'll ever give to genuine--
That girl, and that room, full of bright lights that seemingly never went off, and when they were off, it all felt wrong and out of place and I could traverse that place with my eyes closed but not with the lights off--
And that boy, I miss him so much and this is my only picture of him and if I would have known I would never get to take another of him--
stop stop stop. They keep blending in together. I don't mind.