The 19th of May 1997 – Avalon, New Jersey

(found trapped between two wooden slats on the boardwalk pier)


Today I woke up pinching myself. I wasn’t sure – and I’m still not – if any of the last day has been a dream. I keep wondering what could have hit me on the head to give me such fantastical hallucinations. I keep wondering when I’ll wake up, probably face down on that boardwalk, with your pretty face bent over me, calling my name.

Of course if that happened – if you were to wake me – I’d only become more confused. How many dreams can I wake up from, only to find myself trapped in the whimsy of another?

If things keep going like this, I’m going to develop a serious mistrust for reality, and I’ll always be wondering when I’ll wake up, and I’ll always be hoping that I never do.

I know it’s never happened before, but I swear that it has. Yesterday just seemed too perfect to have ever been experienced for real. Yesterday seemed all wrapped up in the fog and merriment of something unreal, something transported out of heaven and dropped onto our windswept boardwalk. Everything I saw and everything I felt yesterday – I swear I’ve felt it all before, but never actually.

It must have happened before, seeing you from across the sparkling arcade, you with that funnel cake and a powdered face, me with a pocketful of tickets and a whack-a-mole mallet in my hand. It must have happened before, either in some mystical alternate universe or maybe just in some stupid kid’s dreaming head. It must have happened before because it’s just too good to have not.

And that’s why I woke up pinching myself. I can’t get the smell of the salty ocean breeze out of my nose. I can’t get the feel of your hand off my palm, and I don’t think I ever want to. It’s all too good to be true, and if the future didn’t look so bright – now that you’re here to light it – I’d honestly prefer to just stay in yesterday and wrap it around me like a blanket. It’s all too good to be true, but – lucky for me – I’m not waking up, no matter how hard I pinch myself. I’m not waking up, and I’m glad I never have to.

So when can I see you again?



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