I didn’t meet you in the summer of ’69, nor were you there while I was being photographed at the rooftop parties I rarely attended; you didn’t help me catch a missed flight, nor did you ever walk me home on a full moon night. But I met you, just like I met a lot of other people, in the most mundane of ways, and yet I’m here, writing about you, eating my burnt toast and almost black coffee.

And why not? Why won’t I write about you when you’re the one who taught me about metaphors and rhetoric. You’re the one who taught me that maps don’t always guide us home, and that some addresses are remembered to be forgotten someday. You did to me what Murakami did to words, and I, I played along. I hummed to the song that played on your stereo, and slept to your childhood fables. I made you live in me, and how, you ask. I wrote about you, my friend.

I get lost, you know, here and there, now and then. But I don’t pull out my phone and call for help. I don’t panic and flash my torchlight. I don’t search for the nearest house for shelter. For now I know, I carry my haven within me.

Ours is not a heartbreak story, not one without a happy ending. Ours is a story that never began, never written, photographed or talked about. Ours is a story of the burning and the burnt, of strings detached, of pine trees and snow covered mountains, of trails unmarked.

Because you, my love, were a candle burning on both ends, and my eyes had seen enough fire.

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