Ping - a letter to non-proximal friends
I miss the way we could joke about anything, knowing this was the safe zone, knowing we were really all okay and could be trusted in the world despite what we thought funny right now.
I miss coffee under palm trees. I miss painting the stairs. I miss laughing over school assignments. Not holding back.
I don't miss those days, but I miss the safe zone and the shared vocabulary. We knew all along that we'd move on eventually, not knowing to where - it's a rite of passage. We are processes, always moving but not always with translatable maps. Knowing never makes it easy.
I'm alone among friends where I am now. I've built myself a fort, and I am safe, but it's a different sort of safety. I miss feeling understood. I'm afraid of possibly never being understood again, since every minute of every day puts more mileage between then and tomorrow. Now is frangible. I assure you the fear is valid.
New words are built every day, creating a bridge into the unknown. Opportunity is welcome and terrifying. I leave a few syllables behind in each step I vacate, throw a few seeds into the hole. In farming, there's always next year.
Most of the time i'm not afraid of aging, but I remember the way Tim's memories cycled tighter the closer he got to death. There's so much I don't want to re-live, and suddenly I realise that some of that is happy memory - that's a little shocking. I never thought this would be a thing, but it is.
I release each of you, tangibly, alive and dead, but I'm not ready yet to let the memory go - memory of shared vocabulary, of being accepted without judg(e)ment. In the literal sense I'm not sure I can.
Being unable to forget is a terrible burden. I'd like to be lighter, for today.