There are enough Mountain Goats songs that remind me of my ex.

Some in a solidarity plea: This Year, for example. We were both fucked up kids with horrible home lives who didn't understand the magnitude of what we were going home to, trying to make life bearable for ourselves. In some ways, I think we both knew that our being there with the other helped, even if we couldn't fix it or be there for each other.

Other songs remind me of the sort of things he'd say to me: You Were Cool, The Last Man On Earth. He was tender, sympathetic -- hyperbolic, too. He'd make promises that sounded grand, but were realistic. He'd do anything for me, if it would make me happy, and mostly that just meant holding me. They were the sort of poignant statements that were poetic in how simple they were. We were young, teenagers (who were too old to really be teenagers, or kids, if we ever were), and I think it showed. There was still something simple in how how we loved each other: He wanted good things for me, and I was playing with what it meant to be a good thing for someone else, who only wanted to have me in his life.

I had a nightmare a few months ago where he begged me for help. I couldn't speak. I turned, and I ran.

A few nights later I had a dream where he and I ran into each other. My friend told me to keep walking, and his friend did the same. We kept our eyes on each other until I turned the corner, and hyperventilated. Later he found me, and we talked: It was courteous, and polite, but very clipped, very harsh. He told me what he'd been doing, where he was now. All I could do was nod, and listen like I hadn't been able to before.

Sometimes I want to explain, or apologize for running. It would be an awful idea; I don't know if he hates me or not (and I sort of hope he does, but I know how love like that works). I don't know if he'd even want to hear what I have to say. This is most of why I have my policy in place, "Let dead things die," because there's nothing I could say now that wouldn't just be chasing up loose ends that are three-years-too-late, or reopening old wounds that wouldn't heal like that.


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