“Nearness of You”

It was his birthday and I’d absconded with him to the boardwalk. We played carnival games—well, he played, I watched—and he gave the oversized stuffed monkey he won to an unsuspecting little girl who had accidentally dropped her much smaller version into the unforgiving blue below. We were young but I knew then that one day he’d be a father. I bought us both a greasy slice of pizza and he pulled out a fake ID to buy some beer. I thought he was so handsome. I was never much one for the committed life but he made me want PTA and picket fences. He made me believe I could be the marrying kind.

Later that night, under a bright blue moon, I listened to this Norah Jones song in my room and for the first time in a long time, I fell asleep easy.

Weeks and weeks later, I was packing up my things, my CD player on shuffle, when I came across the folded-up ticket stub and in that moment of rediscovery the song came on.

He taught me magic.
I miss him.

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