I painted the side of the highway with my puke while you played guitar in the truck stereo. It tasted like red wine, tequila, and shattered dreams. I could see stars in it. I could smell opportunity in that shot of tequila, but it slid out my throat like so many unsung songs on nights such as these. My hands have held many others and touched a thousand people. My eyes have heard things that the ears are not fine-tuned to feel.

He has hands of plaster casts because he's afraid of explosions that he causes. Everything around him is flammable and caustic – acids that spray from her throat when she has had too much tequila. I don't touch him anymore. Nobody does.

I crawled up the stairs to find the stars in a blackened charred sky, little dapples of white that danced before my eyes. My breath lingered in the arctic air and I shivered and held my guitar closer to myself, the only body I wanted mine wrapped around, ever again. I loved every contour. I loved the part when I was alone. I never wanted so badly to be lit on fire, take the varnish off first, strip me naked and leave me with broken strings on that place we used to call heaven, but it was just a distorted reality – all I found was somewhere where the stars met the stairs, and it was a level of purgatory I was stuck between.

After two-thousand-and-nine years, we had found no veritable cure for that emptiness in your chest. After two-thousand-and-twelve, we're only three years farther away from the truth. What does it mean to know somebody, mind, body, and soul? What does it mean when you think you know somebody in all three of these ways – the beginning, the middle, and the end? Mind equals beginning, body is middle ground, and the soul is the end, because once you know somebody's soul, there's nothing else left. There are no more words, there are no more tomorrows. You aren't allowed tomorrows, because all you have is yesterdays and goodbyes you never said. How do you apologize to somebody's soul? You can't.

You can hold somebody so close to you while they're so far away. Maybe the memories of their body can mimic a familiar instrument. I'd love to watch an octopus play guitar. Maybe I'm making excuses. I quit guitar in two-thousand-and-ten, one year or six months after all of the memories had subsided. Maybe I only had excuses. I wrote out my memories in lyrics and chords – but none were ever good enough, nothing compared to those six weeks I spent in a comatose drunken state, loving beer, loving music and loving life. Maybe I have that opportunity again and I'm being stubborn, because I'm afraid of replacing those memories, not being hurt, but replacing those memories with the possibility of repetition. Maybe I'll learn new chords. Write different words. Maybe this could be a good thing.