We laid out towels to play Spit, but you never tried. I like card games; they remind me of summer and playing jacks on wooden cabin floors. Make me remember the sound of a broom on wet cement, the smell of baby powder, how hard it was to lift myself onto the top bunk. I used to hide things in the rafters, a box of "I was here, but now I’m gone. I’ve left this stuff to carry on…" I don’t remember what I put in the time capsule. If I had one with you, what would we put in it to show what we were?
My memories of us mostly happened at bars and restaurants where we ate off each other’s plates. When my phone rang, I refused to answer it. "Wow," you had said, "I can’t believe you didn’t pick up for me." You thought it was consideration. Really, I couldn’t imagine anyone interrupting us. Ever. Perhaps I could put bar napkins in the box, but years later, when I plucked them from our box, I wouldn’t remember the coy smile you make right before you let out a peal of laughter. I wouldn’t remember how stubborn you are, or how you’re just like me. You complained that you had to work to find my softer side, got annoyed that I shared it with the world here, when it took you so long to find. Underbelly. I’ve seen yours too, when you talk about your father. I can’t put that in the box.
I remember you most when you haven’t been there. On the train to Coney Island for the parade I knew you’d love. I tried to take a photo on the beach, but my batteries died. I’d have put that photo in our box because I’d remember there, in a moment where you weren’t, I missed you. Just one photograph, of neither of us, would remind me of my life without you, with you. We live that way now.
I wanted to make you candied meat, to lay on the floor with you and make funny faces, but my living room carpet isn’t conducive to anything on the floor. You hate hot beverages and anonymous inconsideration. You want to move someplace warm, but once you do, you won’t know how to live without your boots, so you’ll talk of inventing open-toed boots, sturdy enough for a fight, but the sand can pass through, and at your will, they’ll slide off like your slick leather superhero cape. But you won’t invent them, despite your drawings. Instead you’ll lay on your floor and google search the idea. Then you’ll call me to say you know EXACTLY what should go in our box, but when I ask, you’ll say you’re writing it in a letter to me. It will be a surprise, you’ll say, and I’ll never know what you’d planned.