Youth gives you room to make mistakes.

I liked you because you were like an optical illusion: your eyes looked small behind your glasses and you had a gentle laugh despite you being almost as tall as every door frame you ever met. Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear. Nowadays, I’m four years older than you were back then and I’m still trying to understand. If it happened to me now, would I react the same way? Would I be just as angry? Would I know better? Would I be more compassionate than two cigarettes and stolen information? The problem, of course, is that you are also still four years older than I am. Maybe the lens is inverted: the closer the image seems, the farther away it is. The more time passes, the more magnified the sense that none of it makes. I liked the way you valued life even as you were teaching us to cut away at it. I liked that you looked sad after we lay the mice in their small, cardboard coffins. Are you still the less cruel one? I wish I could be kinder to myself than you were but it’s like chasing a moving target: just when my vision adjusts to the light, the picture eludes me.

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