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By Justine Johnson - Posted on 04 November 2011

 with the snow and the wind and the confused chirps on birthdays, i wonder what it would have been like if i had left. not working with older, beautiful women and younger ones. not wandering through woods and mud and grass with officers at night. not making love to pulp fiction and watching it instead. not cruising through suburban new hampshire roads at three in the morning and not finding the frank lloyd wright house buried behind tree branches. not kissing in the snow and crying in the snow and falling in front of menacing statues of canonized saints. not laughing my ass off to archived conversations on skype. not listening to clean guitar rifts at the wee-hours of the morning in apartments that weren’t mine but felt like home. not sleeping on pull out couches or on floors on a barely legal halloween night, not afraid of mirrors and spiders and christ. not failing at making mudslides and mojitos. not making them at all.

i could have stayed in rhode island or not or stayed in england or not and sang badly with people i knew i’d come to hate. i could have retreated to small areas and spaces that never had a name and lost my own. i could have done drugs with girls i grew up with and played tennis with and saved my soul for someone or something that could have felt comfortable but never felt comfortable and eventually could have changed me in the end. i could have walked the bike path for the rest of my life. even in the snow. i could have given up on the fight and never have met them at all. either of them. any of them. i could have lived at home. i could have stayed. i could have gone to sleep.

but no. that’s not the decision i made. i chose to stay awake.