We sat down around the table. It was time for another jagged goodbye. Friends we were, comrades we became, humans we always stayed.
Sometimes, when I try really hard, I can remember when we first met. Carefree, young and reckless. We laughed loud, worked hard and learned much. It seems like a lifetime ago now – a vivid tapestry of a life that we swam in for a short while.
Then we fell through a loophole of wilderness. A lifetime of experiences every single day. Like some invisible being banging us repeatedly against an imaginary wall, breaking us, remaking us then breaking us again.
Were we the same people back then that we are now? Sometimes it’s hard to remember our faces – it’s like we are living in someone else’s body and dealing with fragments of their memories that pop up every now and then to remind us we weren’t always here.
We sat around the table but we were not loud anymore. We smiled less when someone mumbled something to try to make it funny. We told stories, tiptoed around others, and fell into silence again. I looked at the distorted faces of my heroes around the table and traced a single, thin, invisible thread weaving its way slyly amongst us all.
We were all tired. Very, very tired.
They’ve seeped that endless energy out of us. We just laid back – trying to talk when we had to, silent when we could and less eye contact whenever possible.
But yes, we may be older, yes we may be tired, and yes we may be weakened. Yet you are all that will ever matter. History will not write your names, but it is written inside of me. Weak, sad, desperate me is still proud to sit at the table with you.
You will always be heroes to me.