I am nearly certain that I am more nostalgic than average, but there is no excuse for the number of people I’ve gone through my life missing.
I moved to Massachusetts when I was 14. I missed: my feisty Irish/Italian best friend since I was 8, the skinny boy with the chapped lips that gave me my first kiss, the way-too-mature sensitive soul with the greatest sleepovers –and the gaggle of preteen girls that attended them, the little blonde girl I played MASH and listened to oldies with, the boy that I talked about everything with on the original AOL IM and then took long walks around our neighborhood saying nothing, two boy cousins that stole my heart, amongst others.
I left Massachusetts when I was 17. I missed: my brainiac, gorgeous, Harry-Potter and adventure loving best friend, my spunky, adorable, salsa-beasting cheerleader bestie, a boy with freckles on his face, a boy with a freckle in his eye, my field hockey soul mates that had brought me out of my post-Arizona shell, the kid I talked to on the phone for hours every night while he kicked a soccer ball in his basement and yelled at his sister, the second family at Target, amongst others.
Back in AZ, I graduated from high school and I missed: a 40-yr old in an 18-yr old’s body, dry-humored newspaper editor-in-chief, a bubbly blonde “twin” who loved Jewel openly, a Bronco-driving boy who unknowingly taught me to love beer around bonfires, amongst others.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
Then I went away to college, and I had serious baggage,carrying all of these hearts in my heart. I slept too much in those first few months, in between kissing boys I barely remember kissing and dancing in clubs I’m ashamed to admit even parking my car at, and it wasn’t until second semester that I really opened up to taking in anyone else. I began to think: there’s got to be a limit on People You Miss.
But it was that semester that I met the extraordinarily well-read, tiny girl with glasses and a penchant for fantasy worlds. It was that semester that I began speaking to the domestic diva with a knack for acquiring any talent she cared to think twice about. And it was that semester that I met The Boy. The one with the big doe eyes and the girl jeans that wrote poetry in his journal while smoking cigarettes and drinking black coffee.
And now it’s been over ten years since I left Arizona the first time, and even though I’ve acquired more, I still have dreams about these people, and countless others that have tiptoed or stomped across my path. People blame this ever-connectedness to social networking sites, but — no offense, Facebook, you’re wonderful and all — I would still be carrying you all around anyway, letting you float up to the surface of my conscious in no particular order. This may make me very creepy, or very human, and I’m not sure if this is a good thing, or even a normal thing, but I’m sure I can’t change. Because whenever I hear that Jimmy Eat World song, I’m back in the passenger seat of your souped-up Honda, nervous and insecure. Whenever I proof-read a journalism student’s sub-par feature, I’m back in Flagstaff, applying makeup over your facial hair. When I pass by the old neighborhood, there’s still ghosts of little girls doing backbends by the pothole near the swings. When my sister started coaching JV softball, I started thinking about a couple of JV softball girls confiding secrets on a tin bench and knowing they’d be friends from that point on. When I think about pulling pranks, I remember the TP Wars of long ago. When I miss someone, I miss you.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)