lindsay l: “Dear”


Dear Chris, the idea of referring to you as Dear is absolutely insane, but here we are. i don’t even know how to start this. it should be with a phone call, but that’d be awkward. i guess it’ll be awkward no matter how we go about it. i miss the 240. i don’t regret giving it back to you but at the same time i really regret giving it back to you. but this is just me avoiding the problem. just like not calling or texting you. the last time we spoke, or texted, you were really disappointed that i couldn’t visit you all and meet Alaina. honestly, i don’t remember if i couldn’t make it work or if i was too scared to make it happen. i think what i’m most scared of is what you will say when i’m not there. maybe not you so much as steph, but you as well. i know you’ll care about me and love me no matter what, but i can’t imagine you thinking of me as anyone but David, or maybe Dave. and that scares me. i don’t know if i ever told you this before, but i always wanted to be you when we were growing up. i started playing soccer because you did. i wanted to play sax because you did. i joined the marine corps because you did. i went into motor t because you did. and in a very real sense, i went to Afghanistan because you did. but after i got out, i realized i needed to be my own person. and that’s when we started drifting away. to be honest. i’m a little mad that you married steph. don’t get me wrong, i’m glad you did for your sake, but she took you away from me in more ways than one. i simply cannot get over how she treated me and how she blamed me for all of your problems when we were all living in our moms house together. she really didn’t like me and i don’t believe that she ever changed her opinion.

lying and being passive aggressive that i simply cannot accept that she likes me in any way. i’m afraid she’ll think im a bad influence on the kids. that somehow by not being a man and not being an uncle i will somehow make them gay. or that they shouldn’t have to deal with me and my shit. i’m not David. i’m not a man. i’m not a he or a him or a his. i’m am multitudes and one all at the same time. i’m nonbinary and i wish i could trust you and her to respect that but i don’t think i can. the worst part is that i don’t even really remember how you are. how you act. how you speak. my memory has always been pretty shit and it feels like a lifetime since we last hung out. i think the last time we truly spent time with just the two of us was riding around with you in the truck as you went from porta potty to porta potty. that pond. the tadpoles. the turtles. just having lunch together. no kids, no wife. i want to drive to Raleigh in a hurricane with you again. i want to get drunk off bud light in your apartment. i want to throw up in your toilet. i want to go on drives in the 240 and drive dangerously fast. i want to hear your stories about skipping class in high school to drift in your coaches car and how you rolled it once. i want to pretend that i believe you. i want to know who you are as an adult. not as a father or a husband who’s perpetually tired and always has them in the back of your mind. i’m mad at you for having a family. it’s not fair. you left me beind. i tried so hard to keep up and you went and gotten fucking married. to a woman that already had a child nonetheless. i love emma. and i love noah. and though i don’t know her yet, i love Alaina because she’s your daughter and if you love her i love her. but you didn’t have to get married. we could’ve gotten an apartment together. i could study philosophy until i finally got tired of it and started writing instead. you could’ve figured out what you actually want to do in life.

that’s doomed to fail because amazon exists? no. you wanted to drift cars. you wanted to work on cars. should’ve learned how to work on cars. you can recognize the make and model just based on their tailights. you can even estimate the year to a high degree of accuracy. i miss you. and when i visit you i don’t get to actually be with you. even on our own, you always have to go back to your family. i want you to wake me up at 8 in the morning to go play wind waker with you for you to come back an hour later to wake me up again. i want to watch you play Zelda until the day i die. i don’t think i’ve ever actually finished a game of Zelda before. all my memories of the endings are from when you beat the game. i want to remember more of what it was like to hang out together. i want to watch you fall off your bike and cut your arm open on a cactus again. i want you to avoid doing work and go to the North Carolina state fair with Dave again. i want you to be my brother again. but i’m afraid you won’t like me anymore. that you’ll think of me as gay like it’s a bad thing. i want you to think of me as your sibling, not as your brother. but i don’t think you can. and that’s just me being selfish. i’m afraid you won’t care. i’m afraid of that most of all.



(Because of the visual element of “Dear” by lindsay l, the poem is published here in three panel of jpgs to preserve the line breaks and the blank erasure spaces. Each panel includes the corresponding words in its ALT tag.)

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