Besides the Ocean (part 5)

Over time our circle of friends moved out of the small town cradle we’d been birthed in, and his visits became more and more infrequent. One day he showed up at my house, shared a meal with me, and disappeared yet again. It was years before I ever saw him again. There was, at first, the occasional phone call, lighthearted things like “Guess where I am right nowâ€? and frequent assurances that we were both fine. Then one night I picked up the line to hear him crying. He was drunk; I tried to ask what was wrong but he just apologized and I never got a call again after that. A year later I started getting postcards. They’d come in months apart, and were always unmarked. Portland, Chicago, Tucson, Montreal. Even when I, too, moved out of my hometown, the letters would still come to my current address. At first I threw them out as they came, but eventually I started saving them. I still have a little stack lying in a box around here somewhere, I don’t know why I’ve kept them all this time.

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