by Than Pence
A letter to Joey, my childhood friend.
I remember our days in the townhouse complex in Minnesota. I remember when we’d play at the park, skirting the sandbox’s edge, pretending that killer whales swam inside and would eat us if we fell.
I remember playing Ding Dong Ditch on those nights when mom worked late.
I remember when you showed me your Garbage Pail Kids cards and how I thought they were so cool because they were like my sister’s stupid Cabbage Patch Kids but disgusting.
I remember when you stole my Krang and Baxter Stockman action figures and denied it, leaving me without any means of proving it.
I remember that we tried beating each other up one Saturday morning, yelling things that eight-year-olds shouldn’t be yelling. That afternoon, we were best friends again, playing with our action figures in the swamp.
I remember when we were with Chris, a boy four years older than us, and he let us play with his lighter. And when the owners of the property rooted us out of the rose thicket, we didn’t tell the cops who gave us the lighter. Because Chris had threatened to kill us.
I remember when your dad told me how he could walk on water like Jesus if the water was frozen and I thought that was so clever.
I remember thinking that we might devise a plan on getting our parents together and married so we could be real brothers.
I remember, on my ninth birthday, I never got to say goodbye. That’s the day we left Minnesota to live with my grandparents in the south. I wrote letters but I lost your address and would never talk to you again.
When thinking about my childhood, it always seems to have ended when I left Minnesota, when I left my first best friend. I don’t recall opening up to anyone until I was almost out of high school and that time between was quite lonely.
I hated leaving you and I always wonder if our friendship would’ve lasted or if we would’ve parted ways eventually.
I’ll never know and neither will you, but I also wonder if you remember as well as I do.
Word Count: 366