You ask me about my future, and all I can give you is California. Beaches and white sands, I don't want Hollywood, I want escape, and where is farther from the hellish Midwest, the state of Missouri, the state of Misery, than the sun and the Haight? I'll live poor, I'll live young, I'll live beautiful. I'll be eighteen going on eternal. I want to see the lights and I want to see the cities. I want to surf and I want to see old friends. Live the all year warmth, so much better than having a winter. And you smile, you agree. Wrapped up in my backseat, we talk about the way the sand will feel under our feet and the sun on our skin, and then you leave and the sun disperses and it's winter again, and it's so much colder than when you left, and I'm so much more desperate to leave this place. I have to hold on the mantra of just one more year, the mantra of why aren't you here?

And I breathe the disease and the smoke and the lust out of the air, and I get sick, and the thought of this place just makes me sicker, until I am withering away like the trees and the grey skies of the winter time, and I need the spring to get me through this. I want to bring you back to me, you would make this restlessness melt away like the ice on the streets. Your touch would bring me back to here and now. I want to hurt you for leaving me; I want to make you beg for my mercy, I want to hear you scream. But nonetheless, all I can do is send you another message, another drunken New Years text of Please Come Back. Never say I miss you, those are forbidden words, and you are away, you are doing your job and I hate you for risking your life, I hate my country for taking you away.

All of this just makes me want to run. There are no memories on the Coast. There are no attachments to this place to keep me. Every boy here has been a disaster, every time you touched me it was with apprehension. Our every word had to be a secret. And I hate that. I feel the oppressive need to change myself. I want metal in my tongue, bleach on my hair; disguise myself within my own body, a witness protection program from my thoughts.

Everything here is stealing my very being away from me, and I can't stand it anymore. Someone, please, save me from this place.