Since my grandmother lost her fifteen yearlong battle with breast cancer, my grandfather has acquired the custom of picking up and kissing her photograph along with inviting himself over to her friends’ houses and drunkenly trying to seduce them until they send him swerving homebound along the moon-soaked streets. “Maybe you should back off, Dad”. “But you can’t understand,” he laments to my mother, his sorrow ricocheting off of a space satellite. As I listen to their conversation from my position on the couch where I first attempt and then pretend to continue reading Everything Is Illuminated, my grandfather’s toothless voice overflowing the space between the receiver and my mother’s ear, I wonder which would be worse: losing your lover, being left by your lover or never having a lover at all.
Merely a few blocks west of my grandfather, who is by now most likely gorging himself on the chocolate that he still keeps hidden from my grandmother under his pillow even though she is dead and despite the fact that she knew it was hidden there all the while and still did not arrest it from his reach because she believed that it would bring him sweet dreams when she was no longer sleeping next to him and kicking him through the night, a friend of mine is letting her ex-boyfriend fuck her, having somehow convinced herself that she is actually using him. While he urges her to get on top, an old friend of mine who lives just down the road passes a rolled up five -dollar bill to his girlfriend.
And a few thousand miles away, speeding along a causeway across the border, I am trying to make sense of all the romantic notions that exist in the world without holding any ground as I watch raindrops travel quickly across the window like sperm.
There are things I know and things I don’t, things I suspect and things I ignore. Some things I dream of and some things I hope will never happen to me – sometimes these are the same things. In the brief time that I have been on this Earth, I have learnt never to assume. As my grade seven history teacher once told me, assuming makes an ass out of “u” and “me”. Two weeks later he was found dead in his apartment, having suffered a heart attack three days prior. We know this because of the date that was printed neatly in the top right hand corner of the newspaper that lay gently collapsed across his stomach. Never assume. But, I have also learnt that if you do assume and that assumption is later proven false, you should apologize. Apologies are worth more than people allow them to be. Sometimes, saying you’re sorry is all you can do. Almost always, it is the first step to becoming a better version of yourself. But, like all things, there are rules which repentance must adhere to. The most important rule is that you should only apologize if you mean it – not by accident or because you think you should or as a means to your end. It is because apologies are made for reasons such as these that they are so commonly believed to be worth jack shit. Apologies should be made only if you are truly sorry for something or everything. Apologies are tiny prayers to the powers that be, which prove that one believes in the possibility of a better self, that one wants to inhibit this better self and, furthermore, that one deserves to do so. This I know.

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