H,

While I write to you, I write also to a younger self – because while we’re in different places, you’re embracing the things I too did back then to stop myself from drowning. Yesterday, I saw someone who asked me to take a risk, who called my bluff (lucky for me he’s forgotten how he read my mind once and we made small talk) but I will never forget the look in his eye and his – maybe you’re the one who’s afraid – it took the weekend to recover, and my pride makes it harder.

Sometimes we don’t want to change the places people occupy in our lives, and the way we fit into theirs. I’m the one who makes you laugh and I don’t want to change that.

But I do want to talk to you and tell you – what? That these things happen and hopefully, you’ll talk to me and we can get to the bottom of this.

“But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam’s twin is blood.”

From You Can’t Have It All by Barbara Ras.

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