The People We Used to Be

Artwork by Pascal Campion
I was home for the holiday. 
Not the one I live in 
but the one that helped shape me into who I am.
It was a nostalgic return 
to the long gone days of yesteryear.

While I was there,
I took a drive under the twilight sky 
through the city roads that we grew up in.
Cars still crowded the streets 
but every corner now was also crowded with our memories.
Inhabited by the ghost of our former selves.

Almost absentmindedly, 
I was idling at every traffic light 
and every stop sign a little too long 
caught up in reminiscing. 
Admiring from the rearview mirror 
the sky wearing my favorite shade of blue, 
like the ocean we grew up next to. 
Conjuring up harbored memories of endless summer days 
and sun-kissed friends, 
full of laughter 
and full of drink.


It shouldn't come as a surprised that I ended up at the bar,
that one by the college at that place we used to call ours. 
I still remember how we stayed till last call 
so many nights in our little slice of paradise.

A toast to us and the people we used to be. 
I drank as if at the bottom of every bottle I were finding new memories.
Drunk on sentimentality. 
Sharing alongside company 
but in their faces I could no longer find my friends. 

They’re gone.

In some ways, we all are.

Vanishing.

Changed from the people that we used to be when we were kids.
Not as wild 
and not as free 
and not as full of dreams.
Our vessels are no longer in mint condition. 
They’ve weathered a couple of storms.


Our youth is gradually getting buried below stress lines 
and dark circles and few extra pounds that weren’t there before.
Weighed down by the heaviness of the responsibility 
of trying to make it out there without fear of sinking
just trying to be some body we might actually want to be.
And that's okay because now we are beautiful in a different way. 


But for a night, it was nice to remember the people we used to be.

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