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  • I saw myself through a summer lens standing somewhere near a tree line, the mug of July perfuming me in a cloud of unease and wonder. I looked happy. I looked nineteen. I looked as though I knew where I was going, but the hollow that still lives in my belly told me otherwise. It highlighted the trepidation in my gate, and a few other things that went unnoticed too. It pointed out my stutter steps, and my pigeon toes, and my overall lack of navigation became very apparent. Apparent to me at least. I had everyone else fooled though. My smile was strong and I was on the brink of being the brightest I’ve ever been, but blunders bruise, and benders end; and no bender ever ended harder than mine. No bender ever ends in the way you’d wish. There are no photographs of rock bottom, but it exists. Pain was like the wind, I guess: crafty and blusterous, invisible to boot — but, if you ask anybody in New Orleans in 2005 or Joplin, Missouri in 2011, invisible doesn’t necessarily mean absent. Sometimes the things we can’t see are painted in the brightest shades. Sometimes the things we can’t see decimate entire towns. Wind and pain are things we should be very afraid of. I still see myself in summer nights and my missteps don’t go unnoticed, but the unnoticed stays unnoticed, and like the wind — though hard to see — my favorite me is the unnoticed me.
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