Tuesday, February 12, 2008

RS: The kid stays in the picture

There was this kid, see, in the town where I grew up. We used to play together and I told him all my dreams. He knew every one of them, remembered them better than I did. Then one day he disappeared, just vanished. But the thing is, nobody seemed to notice, nobody seemed to miss him, and nobody went looking for him. And they kept talking about him in the present tense, like he was still in the room, like he was going on with his life, growing up and playing little league and trying to date girls and staring for hours at blackheads as he squeezed out the oily little stems. They acted like he actually went to the prom, like they could actually see him, dancing, shaving, having a life. But he was gone. He was somewhere else. And I used to wonder around town trying to catch a glimpse of this kid, find some evidence that he really existed. I was the only one looking for him, the only one who missed him. Sometimes, I thought I could hear him breathing just over my shoulder, or looking at me in the middle of the night while I was trying to sleep, afraid that he was going to sneak up and suck the life out of me. Like he was some kind of banished soul just waiting to take over my body and my life because he had been hacked to death and abandoned in some not so distant wood where he was left to rot, leaving his soul to roam the earth until he found a weaker sould he could replace. And I thought maybe he might come after me. And part of me was hoping that he would. But he was always just beyond me, just across the street. Sometimes as I would stand at a crosswalk waiting for the Go, my heart would start to race because I was sure that if the light would just change a little faster, I could run across the street and catch up with this kid. But I was always caught, trapped between the Don't Walk and the oncoming traffic. Thing was he didn't want my life. He had it too good, he was there. And I always wanted to be there. I dreamed about there. If only I had his life. I could be the center of it all. There

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