Friday, May 20, 2005

Hometown Shredded Paper Boyfriend

I walk down the streets of the small rural town I grew up in.

It has the same kind of small town feel that it had when I was growing up. It is early fall, a chill in the air, bright warm sun, and the slight scent of burning leaves are in the air.

As I walk down the street, I run into a man. We know each other.

We are surprised to see each other here.

I am living back in my hometown. He is visiting from another place. We had a relationship at some point and split up. We haven’t seen each other in years.

We talk for a few minutes, the kind of things two people who haven't seen each other in a long time might say to each other.

He is a rather odd man, sort of a combination of all the men I have ever been in a relationship with.

I ask if he still lives out west.

“Yes,” he says.

“Maybe I can come by for a visit sometime,” I say. “How long does it take to get there?”

“Oh … a long time,” he replies.

"How long will you be in town?" I ask.

"Just a few days.”

"I'd like to see you again," I say.

"Yeah," he said, "I'd like to see you."

We walk our separate ways.

I feel funny -- a kind of chill you get from this kind of unexpected encounter and, at the same time, an immense sadness.

I think about how much I miss him.

I am hiking in the woods with the man, the fallen leaves crunching under our feet as we walk.

About halfway up a mountain, we come upon a large field of wheat. I look down and see a beautiful valley below us.

"Why did we ever split up?" I ask.

We stop walking. He thinks for a moment, sadness in his eyes.

"Things don't work out sometimes,” he says.

We both stand there for a moment, a little awkward, not looking at each other. A slight breeze stirs up the leaves; I look at the clear, blue sky and feel the chill in the air.

"I miss you, you know," I say.

"I miss you, too," he says, reaching out his hand and putting it around my shoulder.

I place my hand on his back and snuggle up to him. We start walking again.

I am sitting at a desk in my house in the mountains. It is evening. There is a small fire in the fireplace.

I am sorting through some papers, throwing some of them away and shredding others.

A cute little kitten is on the floor, playing with some of the shredded papers.

I think about him again.

I wish he was here.

Then I woke up.

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