I fell in love with you. You were funny; you were sweet. You liked to watch horror movies in the dark and scare me about them afterward.
We’d go out and stay out until 5 AM, then walk down to the bar to get the credit card we forgot.
We went hiking at night; we went swimming in the river. You pretended to believe in fairies because I pretended to believe in fairies. The sex was unstoppable.
But people change. We all know that platitude and probably mouth it at least once a week.
People change; it happens all the time. In fact, we’re always changing and evolving. My philosophy class told me we’re never being, but instead, becoming.
Every choice, every action, makes us who we are. Our circumstances change us. And if those circumstances, actions, or choices have significantly changed, well… so will we.
And our circumstances have changed. We have real jobs now. We have adult responsibilities like life insurance and student loans.
We worry about things like retirement and the stock market. You come home and tell me about your job; I come home and tell you about mine.
No longer do we laugh about mutual acquaintances. Other than a few old friends, we don’t have any.
We cook instead of going out because we need to save money. That makes dishes to do. I clean the bathroom. We’ve slid into full domesticity.
Even the topics of our conversation have changed.
You tell me about the phantom pooper in your men’s room; I tell you about a homeless dude yelling at the Starbucks barista. These are not stories to inspire togetherness.
They aren’t stories to inspire love or lust. They just take up the time.
I miss you.
I miss the person I fell in love with. Yes, we were young. Yes, we were different.
But you’ve changed. You have more gray hairs. You worry more, you tolerate less. You care less about politics and more about your own life.
You’re not up on current events. Neither am I, so that kills the news as a topic of conversation, something we used to discuss every single day.
Something we used to watch every single morning while I smoked a cigarette and drank coffee.
You used to smoke, too. Now you’ve quit and so have I. It was the right decision for our health.
I miss smoking with you.
I miss the version of you I fell in love with. I miss the person who knew my drink and my cigarette brand, who’d like to the convenience store at 3 AM because I ran out.
I miss the sex we used to have, all shiny and new. All discovery.
Sure, it probably wasn’t as good as it is now when we know each other’s bodies and have known them for so long, but there’s something to be said for newness.
I miss who you were when we met. I miss all those little details of you but mostly, I miss the person who wasn’t ground down by worries and the stupid details of life.
I miss the man who let me foster greyhounds and kept a refrigerator empty save for creamer and coke.
I miss the man without responsibility, without a real job. I miss the version of you who didn’t care.
But I don’t just regret the things life handed us. We’re lucky, you and I, everyone would say.
I also miss your raunchy jokes. Now I’m too dainty of a flower to hear a good dick job. I miss watching South Park and Adult Swim. I miss laughing at anti-drug campaigns.
I miss our all-night benders, where we dressed to go out and got sloshed and threw up in the bar’s bathroom.
I miss snarfing chicken wings at a college dive bar with you and daring each other to order the hottest ones on the menu. I miss the you who did it, and had to put your face in a bowl of ice cubes.
But mostly, I just miss you.