Looking for You – 10 Years Later

April 14, 2011

“I feel as though I’m never going to see you again.”

You laughed, and tossed your hair back as you smiled at me. “Of course you will! We’ll see each other in a couple of weeks, a month at most.”

Logically I knew this was true, I mean, we already had it all planned out. I’d come back up in a couple of weeks, a pattern we’d repeat throughout the summer. But all the same, something inside of me wrenched as I tore myself away and got in my car. It was a four hour drive back home. I was about three hours in before I no longer had to forcibly stop myself from turning around and driving straight back to you.

I never saw you again.

I don’t ignore those kinds of feelings anymore. I never drove back up, you never came back down. The invisible, impenetrable wall separates us. I still look for you in every crowd I see, search for your face in every stranger’s I meet. But never, ever do I find you.

It’s ten years later. I have a life, well-rounded, busy, fulfilling. A job I love, a home of my own that I’ve spent the years filling with trinkets and memories and pets. I have a small circle of close friends, and a larger circle of others. I’ve had plenty of relationships, some more serious than others, I almost got married once. But it’s not complete, it can’t be….because I’m still looking for you. Walking down a street, I still stop in my tracks when I catch a glimpse of silken brown hair done up in just that way with a head held in just such a position. Still, I turn, trying to see the face, see if it matches up with yours. Still, I feel the small catch of disappointment within my chest when it does not.

It’s not rational, it simply is. So many years have passed by and I have come to the realization that I may live for the rest of my life looking for you. I will be happy, I will work and play and love….but I will not be whole. Because you have a piece of my soul that I left behind when I drove away from you that late spring morning.

And just as you are, it is lost forever to me.


I wrote this letter to M on March 9, 2004. Nearly 3 years after the day that will remain forever imprinted upon my mind, the day my world changed forever, the best day of my life thus far. And this was written 7 years ago. How can it be that despite the time, the distance, the changes,  and the healing since that time, that it still rings so perfectly true, 7 years later?

This spring has weighed upon my mind. Somehow through this month my mind has made special note of particular anniversaries, much more so than in other years past. April 1st I remembered that it was 10 years since I left Nebraska. April 5th I recalled in amazement that it was 10 years exactly since I arrived in Washington, a state I love so dearly and devotedly now. And this morning I was looking at the timeclock at work and noted with a quiet jolt that it was April 14th. The day that I first met M. The day that remains in my memory with sharp, hyper-real edges and black & white precision with hints of tones and breaths of sensation. A day that seems too well remembered and too heartbreakingly bittersweet to possibly be real, and yet cannot be anything but that of the deepest truth. A day whose simple sweetness and newness and even awkwardness and wonder would remain forever within my heart, despite the shattering of my illusions. A day too pure to be anything but honest inside of itself.

A day where love and hope and friendship and passion and discovery reigned above all else.

And just as these long-ago words attest, it was both the start of something beautiful and the beginning of the end of everything I thought I knew. It was a day when I was the truest to myself, and a day where I began to grow up. I just had no idea where and through what that journey would take me.

I’ve grown up now. I know myself better. I can see the unlikelihood of that relationship’s survival, the impracticalities and impossiblities and naivety. And while it has been a long long journey to a place of peace with myself and it’s ending, I am there. I will always feel the presence and comfort of my friendship with M, no matter how long it has been since I’ve spoken to her. She is a part of me, she has a part of me. One that is young, idealistic, honest, loyal, content, and so full of love that it is simply not possible for her to not feel it shimmering beside her. Just like I can feel her shimmering beside me.

I love you, M. From 2001 until eternity you are loved. 10 years and counting….
Take Care

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