It seems like a lifetime ago, especially now that there are probably no such things as library stacks. We were sitting in the basement, the smell of old, yellowed pages pervading as we sifted through an ancient German synthesis paper. It was October. He said that Ipswich was beautiful that time of year; he made a throwaway remark about us taking a motorcycle ride out there to visit the orchards.
Oh, I was young then. Everything seemed so promising. And I wanted so much to believe. In my mind's eye, I could imagine it, the wind whipping through our jackets as we rode out, the leaves exploding in vibrant colors like fireworks all around us. I could hear the crunch of the leaves and the pine needles as we trudged out, the lanes of perfectly spaced apple trees. A bucket of apples at my side, the two of us resting our heads against a tree in reverie.
Except none of it ever happened.
And it was years ago, but was it really? Strange how the littlest of things mark you. Little empty promises and small hopes that were extinguished, they just sink deeper into your fabric over the years, it seems. And so, I suppose, it's no surprise, the way my voice flattens, my brain and heart go numb, and I sound completely ambivalent when asked away. All of this has happened before and will happen again. Or maybe (maybe?) not.