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DEAR PATRICK

I’m not sorry for forgetting your address or your phone number, but I must admit I do have some regrets about the loss of your face. When I think of you there is nothing anymore, just static.

So I don’t remember what you looked like the day you took me down to the beach, how your voice sounded, what you said. I do remember there was no one around and your hands were hot and sticky. I remember how it seemed like something bad would happen later and it did. I never meant for it to escalate that way, I just wanted you to stop yelling. I was picking glass shards out of the carpeting of my car for weeks.

 

DEAR COLIN
I spent nearly every night with you for a month, but I don’t think I ever learned what you cared about. Sometimes you claimed to have spent the day making music, not the real kind but by using a computer. Whenever I asked to hear, you said it wasn’t ready.

The only food you ever ate was that prepared by other people. The only thing in your fridge was take-out leftovers, beer, and vegan ice cream. You claimed to care about health, hence the veganism, but I never saw you without a cigarette. You told me once you’d never been in love but spoke so fondly of an ex it was hard to believe you.

I decided to go away for the summer. When I came back the emptiness had gone which meant you’d outlived your purpose. I went over to your apartment anyway. You alluded to having had other relationships while I was gone, but your browser history showed too much porn for that, even for you. I never got the chance to hear you speak an honest word. I wonder if that’s even something you know how to do.

 

DEAR JOHN

I tried to not judge your drinking but it was hard sometimes. I’d come over and the sun wouldn’t even be down and you’d be slurring your words already. By the time I’d had a few, you’d be blacked out, belligerent, yelling about something or another for no reason.

You had so much anger toward your mother. I guess you didn’t like the fact that she’d succumbed to cancer, and maybe because your brother hung himself shortly after. You blamed her death for his, which seemed really unfair. You only ever spoke of it when you were drunk so I never understood the logic, or if there was any.

I laughed at you when you ended it, not because of the end but because of your reason: I drank too much.  But your next girlfriend was that sweet girl with the high-pitched voice and the love for Jesus. I guess you wanted someone to save you. I will be the first to admit— that was never one of my strengths.

This is an excerpt from the collection Witch Hunt. Buy it here.

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