counting telephone poles

My entire life, the words softly repeated in the back of my mind, sometimes almost unnoticeable, but always there: nothing lasts. So, I counted milestones like you might count telephone poles as you drive down a country road. Nothing lasts. Hold onto this moment. Hold your breath and count the seconds.

If only I can get to Friday. To next month. Next year. If I don’t have to move before the school year ends, before the prom, before the next football game.

I have known you for two days, two months, two years.

I mostly couldn’t control how long things would last when I was younger. We were always moving, or my parents decided I should change schools or they couldn’t be bothered to take me to some class anymore. As I got older and could have had more control, I gave it up. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I just had never known anything else so I didn’t think it meant anything. But it did.

So, I moved away from where I wanted to be for someone else and I changed jobs and I didn’t build anything I wanted to last.

And now? Now it’s me who’s causing changes, endings, responsible for things not lasting. But lasting alone isn’t reason enough. It also has to be right.

Some things are.

I’ve had my cats for fourteen years. And that book of British poetry since the seventh grade. And thirteen months ago I started learning about all the ways you’re just like me.

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