Eight years it’s been. Eight years since I've wandered your crumbling streets, in search of drink, in search of distraction, in search of something intangible and indefinable, something I had yet to see. Eight years older now, I walk you in strange wonder. The crickets, all day long even, rubbing out an old familiar song of narcotic nostalgia, parading the past in front of my mind’s eye, things left back in the attic to degrade. I remember these trees, the specific scent of those broken rotting walnut fruits, the constant laced taint of grills smoking in the distance, the petrichor from your violent rains. I wander through my old neighborhoods, muddled recollections of numerous joyous drunken exercises and occasional sexual victories under the hood of too much of this, quite a bit of that. I get it momentarily, walking past the sleeping houses at lunchtime. I understand the pleasures of their vast swathes of time, their very own yard-spaces, their flags and their porches, the way they can look out at the rain from their very own windows and smile at the impossibility of venturing out. I get it. A little. It isn't mine but I understand. I wish them the best. The most I can get from it is the wander, the smell, the feel of soft damp grass and crunchy fallen things under my feet. The most I get is a glance back at what I was, what this all was when I was whoever I was, what we all were together, drunken or high, hungover or over-caffeinated, tearful and lost or ecstatic and aware. We were all here. Now it is a graveyard of our mutual memories, a land that once was and will never be again. The past is merely the intersection of everyone’s memories flittering together in the dusk of their usefulness. It feels good and then it is gone. We live and we die and our pasts will exist on the same schedule. Love it all while it’s there.