To: P&A <email@example.com>
From: Kayu Narayanan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Good Bones
I miss you terribly, and you’re sitting right next to me. I’m caught up in a dictionary of those stupidly complicated German words that have meanings of feelings that only old people experience. Find me a word, please. Find me a word for future nostalgia, for why my heart is heavy when I know it should be full.
Will you remember our dorm room — the way it smelled when it rained, or when the morning sun would stream in? Will you remember us; our rituals, our routines, the way we knew each other better than ourselves? I never want us to part ways, even though we spend every waking moment together right now.
I live in the moment with you — but I can’t help but feel that ache in my chest for when you leave. You know that poem, “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith — I’m sure you do, it’s everywhere now. There’s a part that goes like this: “I am trying / to sell them the world. Any decent realtor, / walking you through a real shithole, chirps on / about good bones: This place could be beautiful, / right? You could make this place beautiful.”
You could make this place beautiful. It’s always gone over my head; I’m a realist, and the world will always change for the worse. Will it? Doesn’t it change in the way we laugh together and my vision suddenly clears, or in the way I have never slept better without you two around? Doesn’t the world adopt new color, new dimension? Or, rather, is the dimension I discover hidden in your one-cheeked dimple, your dotted freckles? Sorry for sounding so romantic; I promise this isn’t a love love letter. You guys aren’t my type.
I’ll miss you at 50, when we’re old and grown and cynical, and claim that the world will never be beautiful again. I’ll miss you even though we say we’ll live together forever. I miss you now, when you’re sitting next to me. You make me believe that the world will be good, even though I know it isn’t.
Thank you for selling me on the good bones.
Love you until I die,
A version of this article appeared on p. 12 of the October 12, 2023 edition of the Daily Nexus.