It was cold may morning that was only cold because of the air conditioner that was half-conveniently located ajacent to my bed. I woke up to you tracing your fingers acrossed my back. I rolled over with my head on your chest and drifted back to sleep.
It is hard to find the words to describe the impact the people we choose to love have on who we are. It is even harder to not look for the people that we have loved in the people that we may love. I find myself searching for you sometimes. But now-a-days, a different you. I look for the you that does not know the same me.
My mother always told me not to talk to strangers. She still does. At the humbling realization that I am almost twenty, I had thought that there would be no longer be a chance of a creepy man asking me if I would like candy while I'm playing soccer in the street.
For some reason I am unsure of, I like to pride myself in being naive. Somewhere in me is a conviction that all people are good people. I know that this is wrong.
"Would you like a beer?" I don't know if I am talking to you or just another stranger offering me candy. I do not care. It's free beer, I take two. You point out that I hold my Corona between two fingers like a cigarette. I tell you that I don't smoke. This is all you know about me.
A year ago when your name rolled off my tounge it had felt like I had gotten stabbed in the chest so many times that my lungs would never function properly enough for me to ever run another mile again. I ran seven miles that night.
I think that sometimes our minds get so tired of being in our bodies that sometimes they want to go out for a walk. The sad part is that the only streets that live in our minds are the ones that we are familiar with. They are stoplights and turns that lead us back home to where we began. I rationally cannot piece together what is like to drive down a highway that I have not already seen. Maybe my subconsious mind can. That I do not know.
You used to wear a silver chain around your neck. I remember correctly it was a cross. I softly opened my eyes and traced your chest up to the chain that you always wore. For a moment, It was feburary. There was snow outside my window falling down over the frozen lake covering it like a blanket. It was not a cross. It was not you. I woke up and It was May. Not even that year's May but another year's May. The California sun peered through my window and onto our skin taking me out of the moment my mind had been lost in.
The younger version of myself thought that sex was the epitome of love. My mother once told me that it would hurt my heart if I slept with anyone that I did not love. I am still not sure if this is true. The older version of myself is lying next to you. She has been in her own perfect little universe for sometime now. The you that she loved years ago doesn't even exist anymore. Neither does she. You say something sarcastic. I may not understand love or how to recognize it even when it is laying under the same white bed sheets but I know a joke when it's funny. I laugh. I like you.
You smiled at me. I don't know you but you know that I don't smoke cigarettes. You know about my college major and a few other surface details that barely make up even a fraction of who I am. You don't know the lives that I have lived, the people I have loved, or the mistakes that I have made. I am glad. I am not sure if there will ever be a day where I get the chance to tell you about myself in retrospective and biased narratives, and that's okay.
I believe that everyone deserves the chance to start as strangers. The idea of not allowing someone's past influence your understanding of them is important to me. I know in my heart that this is the right thing to do.
At any given moment we find ourselves driving down old highways playing our favorite old songs just to feel the same bumps in the road. It is evident that in order to grow we must pave new roads through the new land masses of who we want to become. It may take an interstate through the mountains or a suspension bridge over the Atlantic but at some point the roads along the maps that we roll up and put in the glove compartment will wind around and twist and turn and feel like your fingers on my back.