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My Return

Ten years ago I went there
With friends I'd known for months.
Trying to carve out a life.
I learned how much I hated
The bar Scene.
Pretty boys.
The currency of appearance.
No new friends there.
Just explosive self doubt.
My friends have lives and careers.
I have a career
But not yet what I'd call a life.
I went there again last night.
With friends I known for minutes.
The place was different
In unexpected ways.
There'd been a make-over
Fresh paint, some new walls,
But most left as it was.
The people are no longer hostile.
Just mind-numbingly indifferent.
The music
Same as always
Was terrible.
I didn't see anyone
from the old crowd.
Just their little brothers.
I kept having to remind myself,
"You knew someone ten years ago
Who looked like him.
Doesn't look like that anymore."
My mind overflowed with memories:
People, events, and situations.
I've never before been
To a place haunted
By the ghosts of people still alive.

25 June 1995

by Bill Cattey