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  • so we’re sitting on some stone bridge overlooking a pathetic river sometime in early fall, 2007ish or so. i keep making the same joke over and over again about how if you come in contact with the water, your skin will burn off. still, though, neither of us have ever been in the water and it always smells like fish, and it seems like it’s always flooded and we’re worrying about the homeless people who live under the bridges drowning. but maybe they’d be less miserable anyway, because they always look so cold and sad when they ask us for spare change. it’s not that we don’t have empathy, it’s just that we don’t carry any cash. i’m constantly feeling as if i need to say i’m sorry. when i was younger this girl’s mom i knew told me i apologize too much and i apologize because i’m really insecure. that was seven years ago and it’s still the truest piece of advice anyone has ever given me that i’ve never bothered to follow. well we’re sitting on this bridge and this time the river isn’t flooded, it’s actually a drought so we can see the weeds growing out of the riverbed like unwanted hair on a woman who is too old to do anything about it. it smells even worse when it’s dry. your brother is in a band, a good band, and we came here to see him but we came too late and now they’re clearing out because it’s past 9 and you have to be over 21 to be at the coffeeshop. we’re waiting for your mom to come get us, not even old enough to drive yet. you turn to me and say, “it’s a beautiful night,” and it really is. we walk down the streets in front of old houses with chain-link fences in front of them and dim porch lights displaying broken plastic chairs that nobody has sat in for months, and we’re talking about nothing because we’re both 15. we can still hear the jazz band playing from the coffee shop as we walk further away, the midwest wind blowing creaking porch swings and cheap plastic garbage cans, the occasional car drives by. i think you are the only true friend i’ve ever had in my entire life, even now, and that’s why i’m writing this, because sometimes even when you’re in bad neighborhoods surrounded by decay and chain-link fences, you’re having a honest-to-god perfect night with your best friend no matter how fucking much you hate yourself. thank you for always liking me even though i’ve always been sort of fucked up and sick, you’re a good person and a good man and i love you in a way that you can only love someone who has given you years of friendship in return for solely friendship.
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