eric dorrington

you never did say much to me. except that night that i sat outside. the night i excused myself from an exclusive conversation that did not include me.

there were so many stories about you. you were almost famous from the standpoint of the local generation.

the night that i moved quietly over to the table with you and angie and seth. did you see me smile because i remembered how you followed me in ninth grade? because i remember you wrote a letter to me that scared me because you knew everything about me and i had never met you? because you were my first fan (before i ever had a purpose for fans)? because you had a hat on pulled almost down over your eyes that made you look like a burgular?

i thought it so fascinating that you remembered me. it made me feel pretty and special the way you looked at me and waved.

and we talked and smoked pell mells and you asked me to take off my glasses and squinted at me. and you said you remembered when i had long hair and you mentioned you used to like me-and you still would. i thought it odd you used the particular verb tense of the conditional future but figured it to be in honor of the three other of whom left shortly there after.

angie and seth are so amazing. they give the appearence of such a young and rebellious souled couple but they are so deep and precious, and have the nature of a married couple in their 80s.

it made me jealously happy to see someone sharing the appreciation for one another that i should have right now but ruined years ago.

as they talked to us and we talked to them i almost wished that in that moment, in that moment right then, you were the one that would love me just so we could all always have a special relationship with our best friends angie and seth and you would put me on a pedastool as you had given a warning you would so many years before and i would finally have someone -once more- to love me.

but then it struck me that that was the most selfish thing that i had thought for a long long time. would i even love you? hell, would i even care if i loved you? were you the same boy i ran from so long ago because you were 'creepy?' were you the same boy that took so long to write and rewrite a silly letter just to have it all spelled right, and i tore it up because my giggly friends and i thought you were 'stupid?'

the bits of tabacco leafs fell into my mouth and stuck to my tongue and lip as i was not used to smoking cigarettes absent of filters.

why then did you seem so pure and pretty that night when we sat outside and talked to angie and seth? why then did i keep moving closer and closer to you? why then did i act girly with you and wish, for the first time in months, that i had been wearing make up so you would really then think i was pretty? why then did i not want to leave when the time came for me to go? why then did i want to give you my number or address or a kiss or anything that would stay your interest in me?

because i was afraid as i am now that every boy i pass up will be the last. even you.

i'm sorry i was stupid in ninth grade. i shouldn't have listened to them. i shouldn't have listened to anyone, i should have just met you and seen that you were innocent and sweet. i could have had someone that would never wanted anyone else-someone that really meant that. you were a good and perfect boy and i should have taken you up while i still had a chance with anyone.

i'm sorry i'm a failure. i'm sorry, boy, that i didn't take you.

you were my last chance.