When I first heard him play, the notes beneath the notes sparked a small firefly in the back of my memory, behind the rushed marriage proposals and the late-night radio sessions — after trading SuperMan for Casper and before my first broken heart in Linda York’s unsanitary, birdshit shed.
His voice sat with me in the dark, with only these memories of past sunsets taken in flickering doses on the way to the woods where I waited an eternity for the fateless basketball player to whisper a kiss on my right cheek and would pay dearly with a split lip.
We pick up on the conversations of other people’s children: comic book superheroes, detective novels, the soundtrack of our youth poking holes in the fatty stars above us every summer. It’s like he never left.
I’ve forgotten so much already, just as he holds on tightly to every passing year.
In my mind, we are young again, chasing the dimming light in a field of cattails and honeysuckle, racing death. We are two Peter Pans in a dozen, outliers on a hunt for a second chance at NeverNeverLand.
He is my time machine.