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I See You, Chris Delaney, Sitting In The Hall Waiting For The Middle School Bell To Ring

I see you, Chris Delaney, sitting in the hall waiting for the middle school bell to ring. I see your white leather low top Nikes with untied fat white laces and I see Dan Parker too—his 1985, first year ever, Air Jordans. And I hear us all exploding with laughter about something irreverent and rude, not giving a fuck.

They call this remembering something but, when I close my eyes, I see it; I hear it; then and there is here again—now—awhile, lingering, lingering, in something thick and slow like incense smoke. So I light some—Kyoto Cherry Blossom—and play a thick slow song on repeat about finding hope in death by a woman with a thick slow voice like incense smoke.

It’s the least I can do. This thing they call remembering you. It’s probably some clingy form of ego attachment but that’s what I’d want if I was killed by a car 28 years ago tonight. Someone to see me, hear me, be my witness. You were here, you mattered, you still do. So, again, I see you Chris Delaney, sitting in the hall waiting for the middle school bell to ring. Parker’s new Jordans, damn, so fresh.

There’s a cynical part of me that tries to make you the protagonist in a lucky story because, hey Chris Delaney, growing up and giving a fuck is hard. And you, 13, on January 16 in 1986 got to go out still laughing and not giving a fuck. But I know that’s bullshit. You missed the whole show, it’s not fair, and there’s no way to spin that story to make it right.

So I just keep making a practice of seeing you, hearing you, imagining who you’d be today, what you’d look like, what you’d say. It’s hard to give a fuck, man, but worth it, I think. So I’ll keep trying to give enough for both of us. In the meantime, have fun being dead. I’ll see you around.