things have never been the same

I still think back to the year everything changed, when I found myself in the city, away from the small, familiar town I'd come to know when I was younger. I always call it the year where everything went wrong, when all my plans got derailed, when nothing went right, but really, since then, things have just been getting better and better. I'm going places, meeting new people, happy, successful, directed. I was purposeless before. I lived in a ghost town before. Everyone around me is perfectly real now.

But I still feel that painful nostalgia, for the fields of sage and tumbleweed, the ugly buildings, the flat, featureless expanse, the sickly green of the lake. The hot, dry, unrelenting summers, the long winters. For a girl with brown eyes and the kind of smile you write a thousand poems trying to describe and never coming close. I left all that behind, packed my things into a car, and got on the freeway and drove away, into my future. I can never go home. I've changed, and so has it. But still, I feel like something's missing, or like I've missed something--like I should go back and live there as an outsider.

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