Last night, as I was saving a file to my desktop,
its name suddenly reminded me of an acquaintance
from high school and the short stories he used to
send me via email (this was back when people
sent short stories via email.)
He’s a chemist now,
or maybe he writes music, or maybe he’s one
of those people who spends their life savings
on a sailboat and goes whale watching, although
being 25 I’m not sure he has any life savings
to speak of. The point is that
I haven’t spoken to him in maybe 7 years
and I would have written my thoughts of him off
as a product of the late hour, except this
has been happening more and more to me lately:
small things tie back to earlier experiences
in my life, sort of like when I was learning to sew
and would tuck the end of the thread under
a previous stitch. French fries remind me
of failed auditions, the smell of fresh rain
reminds me of bacterial cultures, beading water
on my shoulders in the shower brings me right back
to the first person I kissed, how my hands felt
tangled in his hair. I wonder if this is what it feels like
to get older. I wonder
if I will end up like Colonel Matterson: Mexico is
the walnut, the hazelnut, the acorn. I wonder if
my purple shirt will always remind me of my organic
chemistry professor or if, like the alkynes and benzene rings
I doodle across my notebooks, its brightness will
eventually soften, blurred by water and time.


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