2008-03-22 - 5:42 p.m.

Dear high school boyfriend I do not talk to anymore,

I saw a boy that looked like you. Same height, same clothes, same shape of head. He walked ridiculously fast into Loyola and there was no way I could see into his face to find out if he was you. But I remember the old you, and we probably don't look entirely like we used to (I know I don't make the same silhouette) so maybe he wasn't you either.

The MCA has a "Collection Highlights" exhibit up right now. Stuff they've shown within the last 40 years. I expected to see a lightbox by Mariko Mori -- "Birth of a Star" -- thanks to an advertisement I passed by along the way to the museum, but instead I walked into one of the rooms and encountered twin Buddha statues in namaste. They each had the end of a taut white string tied to the tips of their hands and a safety pin hung between them. Does that sound familiar, or did you forget? I leaned close to the safety pin and stared at it, thinking "Huh. This is the exact same safety pin I stared at with Rainer when I was in high school. Well alright."

I was surprised to recognize a good number of the pieces on exhibit, considering the small number of times I've been to the MCA in my life. It was a little bit like Chicago was saying "Hi, nice to see you again." But I couldn't find the Mariko Mori lightbox in my allotted time. It left me wounded, that I left the building before I could see it. Originally, I saw it with Ruth and the Tarcovs in junior high and I had hoped to make the museum visit less about remembering you and more about remembering other people I don't talk to anymore. Its lack of presence prevented that, the absence as acute as if someone had physically barred me. I try to think of this museum visit as remembering Chicago and its connection to my adolescence instead of you, but six and a half years later I know that all attempts will fail.

I wonder if you expect it, that I still think of you sometimes. No, I wouldn't write this if I thought you'd ever see it. No, I don't know if you believe anything I've ever said. I try not to be presumptuous about anything related to you anymore.

<> - <>