Funny how you meet those people during your race... The people that teach you everything and nothing. Because each person's soul is another teacher; another passing of words in a script unintelligible in form, curving, engraving; another laugh; another smile; another tear-filled night; another eternity; another second; another impossibility. And there are people, souls out there always, to be searched for fine print like the worn pages of literature. There are people to affect with your ripped pages. There are gifts to be given...and gifts to be taken away...

There was the flaxen boy...in a daydream of the past. Who taught that home could be more than four walls and a roof. More than family. Home could be a person. A person with a bright smile and wild eyes and an infinite future. A person that didn't care much for formalities or customs. Home could be someone who didn't mind being from out of town or knowing someone from out of town. Someone who frankly, didn't give a shit about the past...only the future. And the same boy taught that someone could be home to you...but that doesn't mean that you're their home. And he went searching for home...

There was the russet boy...lively as a technicolor film. Who taught what it means for people to be incredibly different. To be outspoken against the quiet. To yell into oblivion even without the expectation of a reply. To make people laugh with an easy joy. To care for people other than yourself, but keep them at an arm's distance. That one could call up and talk endlessly, greeted by the empty silence of an open ear...a patient one... And yet, the same boy taught that kind words and soft smiles and sweaty palms and endless subtleties mean nothing if not replicated outside of one's line of vision. That the same person that could use words as music, could use them as a dagger. Could puncture dreams and hopes and joy... And that words could be copy and pasted into anyone... And he went off, spinning words like wool.

And there were those people...loyal as Mercutio against the night. Who taught what it was to stand by someone's side as a lovely promise. What it was to care enough to know. What it was to sit in a comfortable silence. What it was to create a second family. What it was to share the highs and lows of life. And yet, the same people taught what it was to edit yourself. To put aside dreams for reality. To push yourself into a small Rubik's Cube, locking it in the deepest parts of mortal flesh. To be stung by vicious slices of the soul. To look into the eyes of the abyss and be pulled under as well, wading though blackened tar...only to be showered with feathers with each desperate grasp at the dirt. And they went on, guarding those drowning in tar...

And you've forgotten how to open it, that horrible puzzle locked by scrawled letters. And you swear that people are horrible. And you bang your fists on walls. And you bite your lip until it bleeds. And you claw at the tar on your flesh. And you choke back bitter tears. And you repeat to yourself that people can be lovely. And you remember the "good" things and revise the bad until they also become "good". And you grasp onto the ankles of passers by, only to be horrified by the black marks you leave, pulling away with haste. And you dream of shrugging off this mortal coil. And try to eradicate your identity like autumn leaves drifting into the wind... And you all but give up, let yourself turn into ink, lapping at the dirt...

And, then, you meet those people...hopeful against a sea of troubles. Who taught that adversity is yet another pit-fall. That, yes, life is full of bright white smiles...but bright white smiles are polished by salty tears. That people are inherently lovely creatures...reflecting the evil in their lives like a mirror. That people are a million shades of grey against the navy night. That you can shake off tar until it is nothing but a mark against the skin. And yet, the same people taught that validity is but an illusion... And illusions and dreams are what make up reality. And you can reach your hand into the darkest night and pluck out white feathers that fade into an endless waltz, peppered by laughter and lonely whispers. And, you know, they too will go on into the night, plucking their dreams and playing melodies, inscribing hearts and peeling off black tar, crying in heartbreak and laughing in elation.

They, too, will go on.

And you send them your best wishes.

And you carve those words deeper into your soul.

And you raise your head above the waters...

And with a joyous laugh of rapture, you breathe air.

Signed,

Vivant

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