Just outside of Central City Colorado, a gold mining town turned casino city. The campground gives the illusion of being in a wooded area with just a narrow separation between the closest subdivision and us.
To my right, a concrete truck rumbles as the check in office expands their patio for greater activity space.
Admittedly taking the gamble for a spot at one of the national parks nearby would have given us greater peace in nature (maybe) but with my five year old accompanying us the boasted presence of a playground , pool, and pancake buffet in the morning seemed like the kind of thing to ease her out of her skittishness after having seen a water snake the previous year on a trip with her grandparents and her current insect phobia she adopted. One day of watching her cousin dramatically kill imaginary bugs months ago and I’m left with weeks of long talks and demonstrations on why she can’t let her fear cripple her from enjoying herself.
Despite the noise, everyone’s having a good time. A curious Chipmunk scouts the outer edges of the camp. We cooked up some tasty burgers and fruit salad, despite my notoriously poor history of packing for adventures I seem to have pulled it all together alright this time. The kid even willingly left her electronic games at home for the spell, being perfectly happy with the toy frog she picked up in the gift shop.( Huckleberry coffee ground for me? Don’t mind if I do)
It’s a little chillier than I expected with all that heatwave noise the news outlets give me, good thing I packed for that too. Maybe tomorrow we’ll visit Buffalo Bill’s graveside on the way home, or walk historic downtown. We tried to make our way to the closest trailhead over at Mayhem Gulch but a police closure rerouted us.
What happened to us? You were so funny in your beekeeper costume, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been so taken by a smile. Late nights at CiCi’s Pizza where we tested the limits of their “all you can eat” business model. You looked back at me and laughed as I chased you playfully through the park. But then something changed when you started to call me “Pony Boy”.
I told you I didn’t like it, ponies are small and I am a big stallion, and a man – not a boy. But you wouldn’t stop. At first it was somewhat funny, I guess – we were always ribbing each other – but it quickly became disturbing as you stopped calling me by my real name or any other nickname. It was always “Pony Boy this”, “Pony Boy that” – and in front of my friends and family. Pretty soon other people started calling me Pony Boy, too. I did not like this and again I asked you to please stop, but you wouldn’t. The relationship soured and I made efforts to cut off communication with you, and that seemed to send you over the edge.
Phone calls at all hours of the day and night saying “What’s up, Pony Boy?” Same with e-mails and text messages. Eventually these devolved into simple two-word messages in all caps: PONY BOY. I changed my number, but you found me. I changed it again, you found me again. Calls at four in the morning, screaming “PONY BOY” and laughing (or crying? I couldn’t tell). I went out to my car one morning and you had scratched PONY BOY into the paint dozens of times with a set of keys. I got to work to find that I’d been fired from my job because someone (you) managed to log into my work e-mail remotely and send “PONY BOY” emails to all of our clients. I got home to find PONY BOY written in what I hope is just red spray paint all over the walls and floors.
But then you disappeared, and I must admit now that a few months have gone by I miss you. If you’re reading this, please get in touch. You know who you are.
This time I’m not wishing you good luck.
I’ve been on exactly 3 dates since I met you, almost 9 years ago. As much as I want you to know what that’s like for me, I can’t honestly wish anyone feel this alone for so long or to feel like such a loser every fucking day. What’s the path forward, huh? Does one even exist? Has it ever?
The colour red represents so many things. I remember talking to you about colours and you told me that the colour red was mostly on fast food chains to instil hunger when we look at it. I see it now. I’ve never met someone that was so interested in talking about anything in the universe from how we were created to how the future will be like. Let me tell you how this relationship feels:
Red triggers a surging emotion in me that is very much overwhelming for a small body like mine to comprehend and cope. When I see you, I get red. No, like literally. Your wavy brown hair which you complain looks like a mop when to me it reminds me of the waves and how vast the ocean is just wanna fluff it up and oh Lord don’t get me started on how it smells – like a cozy cabin home. Thinking about it now I can’t wait to bash my face in it again. Your pretty brown eyes and how it gets so subtle as if it’s humbling when you look at me. Your nose that you always hated for being so huge. You know what they say about those with big nose. They have huge ___. Fill in the blanks on your own. I love your soft lips that will always have that red glow making it look so plumpy and juicy. Mmm yummy. That kinda red that rushes throughout my body when you touch me, hold me, grabs me by the waist and tell me how beautiful I look – even after crying relentlessly for weeks. My cheeks flushed red when I laugh consistently over the words that comes tumbling out of your mouth. You don’t realise it but I love the way you dance and sing your way through everything. You literally bring music to life.
You take your tea, with two sugars and a dash of milk. You smell like lavender and a good-night sleep. Your arms around me feel like what I imagine the last-burning star would feel like just before it dies; the last moment of heat before nothing. nothing. You always said I should try writing poetry, and I would just laugh the suggestion off. “my thoughts are like knotted headphone wires” were my exact words. The thing with poetry is you never write it for fun. You write it because your whole being hurts and you have nowhere left to turn. Pages, pages of words filled with empty feelings, feelings that hold no real arbitrary meaning is where you will find my words for you. Did my feelings for you ever exist or did I fall in love with the version of you my mentally-ill brain saw you. It does that sometimes. You are not special and yet you are. You. You. You. i’ve tried drugs, drink, sleep, sex. Anything to lull the obsessive compulsion my brain has in reminding me of you. I wish to forget you ever existed. I prayed for you or rather to be rid of you. I got on my knees and I begged God to remove the mere thought of you. Clearly, it didn’t work. It never does like that. But I will pray, plead, beg. I think this is the first time i’ve truly comprehended how fucked up I am. I know this because I couldn’t bring myself to hate you for leaving me. She is gorgeous. pretty. blonde. skinny. I don’t blame you. I bet you her smile is easy to put there and I bet you it stays there without your assistance. I bet you she doesn’t make you over think every word you say before you say it. I bet. I bet. I bet you will be happier without me. I wish you nothing but happiness without me.
I made it 13 Days without Alcohol. Today I relapsed. Not a defeat just a set back a simple fall from the wagon… tomorrow is another day and the day after I’ll have 24 hours again.
Someone who’s trying.
Seeing as you sometimes don’t get back in touch with me for days on end, I often wonder how serious you REALLY are about “wanting to marry” me. And I’m going to point out that if you keep up these mind games, there’s many other lads out here who want me to themselves. I guess they’re just waiting for you to dump me, so that they can get on with having an actual genuine relationship with me. It will be your loss if you decide to dump me. I can see it coming. You can’t fool a worthy human being. You can only fool women who are as low as YOURSELF. I’ve had enough relationship experience over the years to recognize when a lad is playing with my feelings. And don’t ever forget that just because you might decide to dump me, it doesn’t mean that another lad can’t have me, because as long as I’m not officially tied to you, then I do have a right to see someone else. As me and you were never married anyway. So there’s no official document to sign.
It’s been a long time since I have seen you, or even, pathetically, anonymously, wrote to you. Yet you linger in my mind. I tried to put up boundaries, thinking you would fade away if I put a wall between us. But I have found that pacifying my curiosity brings me more closure than avoidance does.
I’ve learned that I have created a version of you that is nonexistent. Seeing your posts confirms that you are not the you that lives in my memories. You are flawed. You are human. Just as I am. You are not bad. You are not wrong. Just. Human. Giving in to natural human temptations while remaining the hero of your own tale. Just like me. Like everyone.
Now, with your account set to private I thought I could permanently shut the door I have left ajar all these years, but my curiosity only grows. The ideological, mythical and godlike version of you permeates my thoughts, while the real you likely posts things that would make me visibly cringe and bring me a sense of complacency in my life decisions.
Still, I wish the cringey, goofy, real you the world I couldn’t give. I wish I could fix the issues that lie between us and bring true resolve, but I burned the bridges. I can’t see how I could fix them, or why you would trust their fortitude even if I rebuilt them. The same way I couldn’t trust yours. And that is where reality lies. I want the best for you, and that couldn’t possibly be me.
I hope this brings me some reprieve. Perhaps that is selfish to say, but I need to refocus my life. If not, I will show up again to write to you, not out of desire, but out of necessity.
Despite it all, I still do love you and hope you have found what makes you happiest. Until next time,