The first box is the hardest to look at. It is filled with music; with old records we found together, or we gave to each other; with cassette tapes, recordings of me, singing our favorite songs for you, and of you, playing your guitar for me; with mix tapes, songs weaved so delicately together to form a story, a general idea, an experience for road trips. You could very well say that it’s the soul, or to be less sentimental about it, the foundation of our relationship. (I tried. I tried. I listened to the lyrics, but they won’t tell me the answer. They won’t let me in on the ultimate secret. Where did I go wrong? How do I fix myself? The songs won’t tell me.)
The second box is full of myself that I tried to instill in you. Like the photo books of my favorite photographers, the people who inspired me once and never again once you came into my life; framed prints of my photographs of you, moments I stole and now they are all I have left; a vintage SLR camera I got for you, which you never really touched; a photo album of our first trip out of town together, with half the pictures gone. (Was I too needy? Did I take too much and give too little?)
The truck is late. Nothing ever goes right in my life. Or am I just too bitter about everything these days? Even the postman failed to show up yesterday. What did I ever do to that guy? The waiter at the restaurant last night surely looked at me like I was some freak show. No tip for you, sir! The cab driver this morning kept complaining about his daughter’s grades. Well, at least your daughter ain’t me. This is a blessing in disguise. It really is. I can’t wait to get out of here. This place, this poisonous, pathetic excuse for a town. No one is nice.
The third box is empty. It’s full of the things you gave to me.
I hope I didn’t forget anything. Don’t really want to leave anything behind.