He hates that I read books, get up early in the morning, find sad irony in the misfortunes of others, am married with beautiful children, work hard to create a career for myself, speak slowly with carefully selected words and phrasing, do not go out carousing with my friends, prefer thoughtful solitude, watched only five Yankee games this summer, and listen to jazz, blues and NPR.
He remembers me differently. In the past, I would read the cliff notes, laugh at those who had fallen, stay up late on the prowl, look for an adequate job, speak loudly and brashly without regard for the thoughts and feelings of others, work hard to maintain untenable and incompatible friendships, become the center of attention in any large group, skip class to watch a day game in May and listen only to Metallica.
Every day I look in the mirror, I am reminded that I will never see him again and I am thankful that I left him behind. Things have changed, but we have an undeniable history together that will not be dissolved, and he continues to influence me today. 13 years years later, I am not yet proud of who I am, but I am happy with where I think I am going and who I strive to be. But, if I were to see him again, face-to-face, one thing is certain: my 21-year-old-self would kick my ass.