I listened to the same song on repeat for hours today. Wandering through the lines, the verses, the melody. A parallel universe where i am eternally 15. A slim body, a full heart, life stretching out before all of us, long and lush and infinite. The opposite of this reality where age has been unkind and the only lines i see are under downcast eyes and my aching and tired heart beats irregularly—stands before me in stark contrast. All the people i loved that went away, went away forever walking into death head-on, like deer in front of trucks on the turnpike. There they are alive and laughing, in this parallel world, telling jokes, being young. I smoke another cigarette and watch the sun set on a cold November evening, the trees in black silhouette against a grey sky, blurred through my quiet tears, my chasm of pain and loneliness. I want to reach through time, yank them away, shout and scream and plant my feet on solid ground, love again and want again and breathe again. There we all are, frozen between the notes, the saxophone solo, the lines we all sang together in unison. We were invincible in our youth and ignorance. And yes, i want to climb into the velvet voice, that voice that is also gone forever, and use it like a blanket—a soft everlasting, warm blanket of hopefulness and love that is not only missed, but misplaced.