I watched the opening anti-gravity scene of Barbarella today and remembered the afternoon in Ricky’s video store when the preacher came in and Barbarella streamed out on the 12″ TV on the counter.  I didn’t know then that those days were going to be behind us soon.  I don’t know now that if I had known then that what would come in the next decade I would be or act any differently.  I probably would have fucked up a lot more trying to avoid this or that.  You’ve seen Back to The Future.  You know what I’m talking about.  We weren’t innocent.  We weren’t pure.  But we had a simplicity that comes with youth in possession of certain mental faculties:  faculties of imagination, intelligence and psychological profiles that would have gone on for dossiers if only psychiatry had been an option back then.

It wouldn’t be too long before a dark night on the middle school athletic track would make us enemies and every kind word about friendship and loyalty and courage would be forgotten and even dismissed as schoolboy fantasy.  The years would dim and brighten like years do and then you would come back into my life like nothing had happened.  Ha, track night.  Yeah, funny.  Anyway, this book I read…  So easy to forget when nobody wants to deal with it, hard to forget when everybody else but you wants to forget about it.

But that afternoon in the movie rental store, when an experienced pervert and an experienced preacher (but novice pervert) standing on two sides of a counter and four wide eyes staring at Jane Fonda’s breasts worked at cross purposes, I didn’t know that was the good old days happening, the end was coming.  If I had, I would have pulled out a camera or a fucking note pad, for Christ’s sake, and I would have made a record, a mark somewhere on some thing that said something like, ‘One of many afternoons wasting hours in the store waiting for my mother to pick us up.’  Just so there was a mark outside my head.

But I didn’t, and it wasn’t until today, until I saw the opening four minutes of a terrible but sexy movie that I recalled that once we were brothers.  Once upon a time when the sky could turn black and the nights could turn hot, we sat next to each other and mentally came of age with a woman we knew nothing about, between two men locked in an age old battle between the good and the better parts of man.  We missed life and we found it, too, all in a single moment, one afternoon in Little Town, Texas.

Now, you’re a memory and a wisp on drunken nights alone.  And I can’t bring myself to ask why you died because I’m not supposed to care.  I’m not supposed to give a shit about you because I like to think you don’t give a shit about me.   Your body ambles in the countryside somewhere quiet but you’re not here and so your’e dead.  And even though I think to myself how I’m supposed to act like you don’t mean much to me because I didn’t seem to mean much to you, well, the truth is, I miss you, Matt.  You’re a bastard and you’re selfish and you think only you can see the world the way it really is.  But goddamn you, I love you and I wish you would just crawl out of that grave, buy a six pack on your way to my house, let’s steal the movie off the web and watch it and laugh.  I’m tired of missing the people I don’t think I’m good enough to have. 

Where’d you go, Matt?

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