(A poem by an anonymous Murray State student contributor)
i drove past his old apartment tonight
i was feeling nostalgic. i thought about doing it a while ago but i didn’t want to hurt.
this time felt a little less raw. i thought about whether or not i was finally over him while i was listening to my coworkers chatter during my shift. subconsciously i think it was some sort of litmus test, going back to that place, and i wasn’t sure what i was going to do if it told me i still missed him. but now i thought i was ready.
i filled my car with gas and headed towards the street he used to live off of. well. he still does but it’s further out of the way now. somewhere different. i don’t know quite where.
i turned my right turn signal on and sat there for a second, waiting for the green. much to the ire of whoever was behind me. i wanted to think. i could’ve kept going straight, past the turn and on toward my apartment.
but i didn’t. i turned and found myself on the north half of 16th street, then left onto campbell. i hadn’t been to this part of town since the night we split. dubbed One-Bedroom Land by the locals and students alike. row after row of beige vinyl siding and cracked pavement.
there’s a lot of memories for me here.
a couple of times while we were dating, i drove past the apartment where i got too high and had to crawl out of the smoke-filled living room for fresh air because my legs had turned to jelly. i lay under the stars and watched them dance in the april night sky. i vomited and haven’t smoked since.
but that’s down a different street. i made a left, then a right, then another right. there it was. brooklyn avenue. i always hated the name. just more dilapidated townhouses they haven’t renovated since the early aughts but the rent is higher every year. then again i’ve never been to brooklyn so maybe it stands true to the name.
i made a u-turn at the dead end and caught sight of it. this place i’m no longer allowed inside of. i used to have a key. i still do, actually. after we broke up i never gave it back because he never came and got it and a month later he moved into a new place. they’ve probably changed the locks by now.
there was a time i could walk through the door any time i wanted.
i kissed him for the first time on the couch in the living room, in the early morning hours of a january day. he broke up with me on that same couch six months later.
it’s probably still in the living room. he hated that couch. not enough room for two people to lay down. he smoked a lot.
all the times i was naked, or cooked, or laughed, or drank with him. falling asleep to stupid cartoons or blasting the AC as high as it could go. we would drag his mattress onto the kitchen floor because his bedroom had terrible airflow.
those moments are inside those walls just as much as they are in my head, and the new tenants have no idea. makes me wonder who drives past my apartment under cover of night and thinks the same thing. my building is made of brick.
i didn’t pause to look, opting to just catch a glance and drive on. i was tired, and a hungry cat waited at home.