To The Love I Left Behind

Flickr / José Manuel Ríos Valiente
Flickr / José Manuel Ríos Valiente

I know I live between your pen and your guitar and you conjure me up when you’re alone in your bedroom writing songs at 3 am, songs that you keep playing just to keep me alive in your amp, scared that if you stop playing I’ll slip away & out of your grasp the way I did almost 4 years ago.

I know all you want to do some days is to write for somebody new but you’re too scared that if you do I’ll stop visiting you in your dreams so instead you play our songs through the speakers while brown bagging whiskey, trying to stay quiet as the sun slowly rises on another day that you’re alone.

When we met you had long, dense hair tangled by the Caribbean salt and I had a stare that challenged anyone who took one step forward. Dark Eyes, you could grow your hair back out and I could pretend I haven’t let myself soften over time but deep down I know you know that we would only be trying to revert back to the days when our only worries were the costs of flights from YVR to YSJ but that’s just not the way the world works anymore now is it?

You wrote to me saying you crossed the country to a moving home on the water so you could feel closer to me, but Dark Eyes I’m not there anymore. I found somewhere else I belong, and I can’t come back no matter how hard you close your eyes while that salt water sprays on your face.

You’ve still got my iPod despite my years of pleas for you to return it to me and I know it’s because maybe if you leave it in your side drawer you can fool yourself into thinking that I’ll be back in the morning to pick it up, but I’m not coming back old friend, I’m never coming back.

East Coast boy, you need to take those photos off the wall, take that iPod and throw it in the Pacific, and let yourself live. Set yourself free. Don’t look back, Dark Eyes, for it is time to let go. I know you’re still holding on to your end of the bargain praying that I’ll go back on my word but it’s time to let go of the promise you made to me all those years ago. Don’t let me hold you back anymore.

Someone else will fall in love with the way you run your hand through your hair when you’re bashful or anxious. They’ll love how your guitar is an extension of yourself, how you’ll wake them up with breakfast in bed and then simply laugh and hold them close when they fall asleep halfway through their pancakes. They will love these things about you and you will love them for giving you a new dream to replace the one you had about Christmas mornings to come.

They will love you and they won’t leave you when you need them the most. But Dark Eyes, you need to remove yourself from the November rain you’ve been living in and step into a new light, one without me next to you, one where you’re no longer in that place between sleep or awake but where you’re fully alive.

Every once in a while I will catch myself in a downpour or watch seagulls struggling against the wind and I’ll smile in spite of it all, knowing that our love may have crashed and burned but we had a story that writers will spend their whole lives trying to pen but will never find the words to bring it all to life. TC mark

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