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  • The majority of time together was spent listening to records in his 3rd floor apartment; the sound bounced beautifully off the hardwood floors. We'd pick out a long one and the tingy twang from the records followed us into his bedroom where we'd spoon in his twin bed and admire his gigantic aloe plant from across the room and point to places on the maps tacked to the walls. We wouldn't say a thing. I'd prop myself on my elbow and look down at him and he'd look up at me and we would simply search each other's eyes, seeing the detail of our intricate irises. And this was how we communicated.

    We'd go for day trips, every Wednesday, the day we both shared away from the restaurant. I'd pack snacks and print out the directions and he always had his camera and a few good things in his black L.L. Bean backpack. Then we'd meet in his red Volvo station wagon and set out for the Yale library in Connecticut or the Boston Aquarium or Mt. Katahdin in Northern Maine.

    Since we didn't feel the need to speak on these long car rides, I'd begun to make elaborate mixed tapes filled with folk and love songs so he'd know I cared. I knew he knew, but I just wanted to drive the point home. I wrote him letters too, little notes, and I'd sneak them into his backpack during our work shifts.

    We were so simple together. We were constantly listening to one another. I heard his smirks and his cowboy stride. Maybe he heard my heart flutters and wide-eyed admiration.

    I don't know where he is or how he is now. He went Into the Wild to Alaska. But I think of him often. And some nights he sneaks into my dreams as first loves are wont to do. It's then I feel his thoughts on me, or at least, I hope they are, sometimes.

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