Every once in a while I think about this guy I knew in high school. His older brother had died in a car crash and he carried around with him a cloud of melancholy. It sounds trite to say it, but it really was just like that: a cloud. Whenever you talked to him, you were not talking to him about something huge and obvious. He was skinny and quiet and shy. I have a picture of him in my head, smoking with his head down and one hand is his pocket. He had the longest eyelashes. He used to drive me home because we lived in the same area. I had a boyfriend then, and maybe because of that I didn’t feel self conscious, but I remember being surprised that he was so easy to talk to, and that he was really funny. Once he dropped me off the night before I was leaving to visit my grandparents in Rhode Island. He gave me a story he had written that I liked, and after a long silence, told me he wished I were his girlfriend. I don’t know if the memory is connected to the awkwardness that happened after, or the way I covered my face with my hands, or even that I stupidly said I wanted to but I couldn’t. But the scene drops into my head at the strangest times, always seemingly unprovoked. It’s not that I have any regrets or false notions about something that could/should have happened, it’s more about that feeling of being so close to something that sweet without ever having it.