Monday, November 16, 2009

Letter to a beautiful boy

Saw this while walking down Decatur the other day.  Felt like I'd been punched in the gut.  Still?  It's been what, six years?  Maybe more?  I don't think I'll ever be able to see that sign without remembering the day I first saw you.

You were so beautiful.  And so smart.  I could tell just by watching you work.  I was with some lesbians and couldn't make a move.  But I came back for you.  Oh, you bet I did.

You were 21 but smarter than most people twice your age.  I was six years older, but that was OK.  You'd been working at Fiorella's for a year, moving on from a troubled past.  You had a dangerous history.  Some trouble with the law.  I didn't mind.  I saw nothing but potential in those soft brown eyes.  Oh, those eyes.   They were the death of me.

I remember every conversation we had.  Every kiss.  Those walks by the river.  That night on my couch...

I would have moved heaven and earth for you.  Given you the moon and the stars, all those stupid cliches.  I had some competition though.  There was another girl.  She won.  You were a stand up man about it, which made me love you even more.

I hope you are well, my dear friend, wherever you are.  We spoke once after the hurricane.  I knew your neighborhood was destroyed, but I also knew you were smart enough to still be alive.  You were doing great.  You were still with that girl.  Had started your own moving company.  I'll never forget you telling me, in that delicious New Orleans accent, "Girl, I'm a contractor now!"  I swallowed the lump in my throat and reminded you that I always said you were going to be a success.  You were quiet for a moment, then you said, "Yeah, girl.  You always did believe in me."

Yes, baby.  Yes I did.  Always.

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