Chapter Ideas / Titles (from the blue spiral notebook)

How can winter be coming again?

Everything in tenth grade was blue and grey.

“The pain comes in waves. Soon they will wash me away.” Did Anna write that in a letter from Puerto Rico in 1983? I want to know, but I don’t want to reread those letters because I was such an asshole to her.

Do you know where I am?

With Tomorrow / Last Goodbye

“Swirling toilet of despair.” I can still taste the despair.

Was I really standing here with her on her front porch, asking her to go steady with me? I can remember every detail from that day 47 years ago. But did it really even happen?

“I put out your hand just to touch your soft hair…”

With her covering the scene of a shallow grave

Saying goodbye in the snow

Old Land / Driving through Saint Louis

The Pain Unbearable

It’s broken and I don’t know if I can fix it.

You can’t have your hand back

The trust of a child


“When the winds of forget-me-not blow…”

“As of this moment, I am a stranger. I never existed. I’m gone.” ~Love letter revised eight years later.


All we really have is ourselves

The Bridge / first hug / the moon

Vamoosa / power plant

Killing time

Flag Day

Ben Casey

Swing set talk as the storm approached

Heart of Glass / Single Wish


Mismatched socks

Still Return

Driving music

“Hey, you’re that girl!”

Moving away

October fight

“Cover the ground with ashes…”

“My love will keep you warm.”

“I didn’t think it could hurt this much,” ~K, journal, November 1983

I bought a super-cheap box of cassette tapes to send single songs to her.

Somewhere in the distance, so far and separate that it shouldn’t matter, the horn of a freight train sounds as it crosses slowly through the city. They go slower now, to stay away from limbs and things.* On nights like tonight, it’s nice to walk. All the words and images inside are the same, just twisted around in circles. But since there is no one here at all, I’ll have to make do with the materials on hand. So it won’t just do to walk on this night. You see, there’s nothing out there at all any more. And it isn’t that tonight I roll in teardrops, for it seems that freedom too has escaped me. And it doesn’t help to close my eyes, for I still see the the same things, since there’s nothing there to see anyway. My hand scratches silently along, the air gets colder, and the days get shorter.

“Whipping wind whispering songs of silent seclusion…”

There are those of us who spend their whole lives waxing rhapsodic about autumn.

“It never worked.” Holy, crap, did she really just reduce our two years together to three words?

I don’t want to write.
I don’t want to itch.
I don’t want to feel useless.
I don’t want to seem like a burden.
I don’t want my eyes to itch.
I don’t want to make anyone hurt.
I don’t want to forget.
I don’t want to lose myself.
I don’t want to throw up.
I don’t want to burn up.
I don’t want to grow up.
I don’t want to break a leg.
I don’t want arthritis.
I don’t want to bite my tongue.
I don’t want to shake.
I don’t want to be forgotten.
I don’t want to ache.
I don’t want disease.
I don’t want to be hungry.
I don’t want to be mentally ill.
I don’t want to be in an asylum.
I don’t want to cough.
I don’t want to be an asshole.
I don’t want to seem insensitive.
I don’t want to lose touch.
I don’t want to lose face.
And I don’t want to lose you.

* My college roommate’s brother lost his lower leg when he walked across the tracks and got caught on something as the train arrived.

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