When I Lean Too Far Back on the Swings

I find myself in the strangest of places, like the cracks in my bedroom window from when you threw that baseball at me from my backyard. I almost caught it too, but it hit the top of the open window and glass shattered into my left hand. I still have the scars; there are three. I remember the doctors having to pick the shards of glass out of my hand and you watched me and I watched you and I didn’t even cry. I was ten years old and didn’t even cry at the doctor’s cold touch. That’s probably because my touch is just as cold, if not, colder.

I find myself in the old yellowed and blackened newspaper on your bedroom floor. You found it at the James’ house after the fire that destroyed their home had licked the back page of business section. But on the front you can still read the date (it was printed in 1980) and the headline says: “Olympics—USA Hockey team beats Finland in Lake Placid, New York for Gold”. I dreamt about ice hockey at night when I was little. And I dreamt of being the captain, Michael Eruzione, and I spun and spun and cheered but I became a figure skater. I should have been a hockey player. I regret not playing hockey.

I find myself in the pages of Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, falling along side of Holden Caulfield and gripping onto the text as tight as I can. I find myself crying at the end when Phoebe rides the merry-go-round. Every time, I cry as she goes around and around. Sometimes I lose the sidewalk underneath my feet, but I never lose you. I have never lost you.

I find myself in rusty swing sets, where I sit next to you, and you sit next to me and we just kind of watch each other. Sometimes I loose myself in your dark brown eyes but then I find myself again, on the swing set at the elementary school. Sometimes little kids play at our feet or on the slide and we just smile, because we were like that once. They push and shove and we try to push and shove our emotions around but they never change.

You’re always the happy one and I’m the one with the cancer of the mind. You’re the only one who has seen me bite myself to pieces, and the only was who picks me up when I lean too far back on the swing. You’re the only one. And although sometimes I find myself in the cracks in my bedroom window and the yellowed and blackened newspaper on your bedroom floor and even the pages of J. D. Salinger’s most famous book, mostly, I find myself in you.





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