I find myself sporadically missing everything about you. What's sad is that a lot of the time, I forget it ever even happened.
Remember when we first saw each other. I was shy and young and overflowing with my newly discovered sexuality.
You were quiet. You were calm. You were calculated.
I knew you once and that feels good to say out loud, "I knew you once"
I knew you once when we were still guileless. When love was simple and we were chasing something that was warm and violent, something whole and wide awake. I know a lot of things now that I didn't know then, like how scared you got right before things were about to change.
You would look at me, unsure if I was the future or if I tainted your present. The second you leaned over my edge, you realized nothing was ever going to be the same again. There were moments, I could see in your face, where you wished you never hopped onto that railing. Moments you wished your suicidal curiosity would have laid dormant that day when you introduced yourself and thought you knew what you were doing.
But we grabbed without thinking because we are passionate people. I took your hand and followed you into the night where nobody could find us. We quickly became February criminals. Quiet and free. A wild fire caught in between prerogative and possibility.
You would mouth the words, "i love you" from the door way and I would hear it above all the noise in the room. I would hear it and I would believe it.
I was young enough to believe in everything you said, but old enough to know better.
But this isn't about that. This is about the way I knew you once.
This is for the frosty air during those first few months when we would leave together at midnight, breathing heavy with nervous excitement. For the words stacked and hidden in all the letters we would write. For the drawer where you kept all the inappropriate pictures and crafts I would make for you, some smudged and smeared because I couldn't wait for the paint to dry before I presented you with your gift. For your ursa major and my ursa minor.
Maybe this is for nothing and maybe this is for everything. For your freckles and your mischievousness and for the way you always knew the softest way to pronounce the vowels in my name.
Maybe its sad how everything we had is just something I vaguely remember now. Maybe it is sad to miss something you spent so much time trying to forget. Maybe not. On a day that encourages people to stop, think and try to remember, I thought of you and of all the things that were left unsaid and that will never be said.
You are still alive, in the flesh, unlike many others that deserve to be memorialized today, but you and I are so far from one another it is like you are dead. When you stood up on the railing that one day long ago, and you took that brave leap towards me, you eventually hit the bottom. Everything we had smacked into the concrete and was traumatically disfigured. We were left with something fractured and changed and we both know how you react to change. But that's ok.
Its days like this, where faint memories drift to the surface of my mind and there you are, a figure of my past standing on the edge. And I think to myself, I knew him.
Happy Remembrance Day
Happy Remembrance Day
(all images by beishui)