The edges are faded. I guess I held this picture in my mind too much. I wore the color from the corners and light seems to emanate from unnatural sources. Beams slice through the faces of your friends, the bathroom counter. But everything seems to become clear in the center. The illumination hones itself, it finds its precision in your face. And all I remember is the ruddiness of your cheeks. How you were that guy. The kid everyone went to school with who had rosacea and you never said anything and you didn't know what rosacea was because you were just a kid but it set them apart in a really non distinct way. You were that guy. The guy I remember on the playground that i knew I'd never go to prom with, never have my first kiss with, never marry. Curly, frizzy hair and glasses guy. T-shirts with brand names I didn't recognize guy. We will smoke this weed together but I won't even attempt to make small talk with you because I'm That Guy. My friends will poke and prod intellectually--is she single? Can I fuck her? But I will take my two tokes and pass the bowl to my left Guy. You weren't real. You were one of those shells of man, all flesh and bone and insecurity. You were an ego without a face. You didn't matter. You meant so much to me.
It's just a surreal painting now. It's my starting place as I replay this game. Trying to figure out how you slipped through my fingers. It's the first piece of the puzzle. And yet, I've always felt like it was the one piece that didn't fit. Every other picture that I have of you hints and the next. It is a prelude to the entire roll of film that follows in my minds eye. Except that first snapshot. Inside of my little body then, my blood didn't boil. My guts didn't rise up and forward and emit this smothering heat. I didn't know you would create an entire world with me. A world no one else has ever been in. A world I'd come to call home. A world I can never go back to now. Or maybe worse....maybe I never left...
This is our story. In all it's ruthlessness. This is our exultant tragedy.