once just to start a fire

There will be more wormwood after these commercial messages.

It's been a few years but she was still in town and we meet for coffee, and it's exactly like old times, and that feels wrong, because surely we're different by now. But her smile is the same, and her laugh, and the way she tentatively brushes my hand is the exact same, and I still feel like I'm so lucky that she's spending time with me--not in that stupid "she's so beautiful and she has time for me" sort of way, but in the "I will never again meet someone whose company I enjoy quite this much" sense. The sense that I already know that I lost a long time ago.

Except this isn't nostalgic. It's the same as it had always been. Like she'd never left. Like all of the distance between us is gone because of that thing her hair always did no matter how hard she tried.

Coffee turns into drinks, which turns into going back to her place and talking for hours, which turns into kissing on the floor. There are no questions--no "why did we grow so far apart?" or anything like that. Just more promises of eternity, and just like the old days I even believe her. She probably believes me, too, but I've worked too hard on this to let it turn into something it's not. I've already started over, moved on, left this a beautiful memory, something perfect. And nothing is ever perfect, not really.

Part of having freedom, of having power, is actually making the choices you have. Otherwise are you really free?

Just like old times, I can't sleep with her next to me. As soon as I'm sober I jump on my bike and just ride as hard and as far as I can. I lock up to a fencepost and sleep in a park miles north of town. She calls me in the morning and it wakes me up and I just smile and ignore the call.

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