All the things that make you

I remember you with fondness, but did not get your name tattooed on my skin, because you don’t deserve that honour. Today I talked to a girl you scorned. You lied to her, abused her and tossed her away. Your behaviour was forgotten in the fog of grief at your death. We also politely ignored that your failure to make your last turn was a wince-worthy reminder of your life. You never did learn to navigate the world well.

That girl was not stupid, but lonely then and facile perhaps, to fall for your leather jacket and charming smile. Or perhaps more willfully ignorant of your vices, seeing straight through you to the prize of your taming. Now she thrives in her own way, leaning towards the light like a cut stem rose in a glass half empty of water. I’m glad for that.

You were callous and cruel, but never bright enough to be a real threat to me. In my time I also considered myself a prize to be tamed, and we felt an unspoken prideful kinship. Once you were kind to me, and honest about the cost of age on your vanity, because you knew I would understand.

I’m surprised we were never lovers, and sad that I will never have that memory, but I know how it would have gone. I have enough memories of your smile, of your body, of our light flirtations, to fill in the gaps. Perhaps when I’m old I’ll forget that we never kissed, and forget your vanity, and forget your bad behaviour. But then, I would forget you, and that would be a shame.

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